Bill Hybels is one of the outstanding church leaders in America in our generation, founding pastor of the Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, Illinois. He not only built a great church there but has also provided a paradigm many others follow as they seek to reach non-church people at the end of the twentieth century and in these first years of the twenty-first century. Hybels contends that there is a difference between teachers and leaders. ”Local churches,” declares Hybels, “generally haven’t been directed by leaders but by teachers, and these two species have distinctly different behavior patterns and areas of emphasis. As a result, a lot of churches are well taught; very few are effectively led.

Hybels then details the characteristics of leaders. Consider his list.

  • Leaders have the ability to cast a vision.

  • Leaders have the ability to coalesce people.

  • Leaders have the ability to inspire and motivate people.

  • Leaders are able to identify the need for positive change–and then bring it about.

  • Leaders establish core values.

  • Leaders allocate resources effectively.

  • Leaders have the ability to identify entropy.

  • Leaders love to create a leadership culture.’

How do you react to the list? Circle one. The list makes me feel:

  • Inadequate
  • Afraid
  • Challenged

Let me explain these response.

  • Inadequate: If this is your response, it is probably because you took a quick look inward and recognized the absence of these things in your life.

  • Afraid: If this is your response, it is probably because you took a clear look outward and realized the incredible obstacles to overcome and the pressures that will oppose you as you seek to do these things.

  • Challenged: If this is your response, it is probably because you took a long look upward and relaxed in the all-powerful, all-knowing God who called you and equipped you to be his leader.

What then should you do?

Decide: Leadership begins with a decision. God will not force you to be a leader. God selected Gideon when he was already doing what he could do. Decide you want to be in on what God is doing in your church.

Discover: Spend some time studying Hybel’s characteristics of leaders. Spend some time in 1 Corinthians 12 studying the spiritual gifts. Seek to discover what God has gifted you to do and how you can translate that gift into ministry.

Deliver: When an opportunity comes, take advantage of it. Go through the door of opportunity. Accept the challenge. Agree to the position. And then do the best you can.

Develop: Constantly look for ways to improve your skills and develop your abilities so you can more effectively serve God.

Dedicate: Commit yourself to the Lord, accepting 1 Corinthians 10:31 as the motto for your Christian life.

The greatest need in the church today is men and women who have been gifted with the gift of leadership who will step to the plate and become God’s leaders for our churches.