Godly Preparation For Leadership In Ministry
9 Essential Qualities of a Godly Leader
A quick search of books on Amazon.com on the topic of “leadership” currently yields 137,827 results, with new titles added regularly. There are countless experts and self-proclaimed gurus who speak often on the topic. And, if you don’t believe me, search #leadership on and you’ll find some of them.
Yet with all of this at our fingertips, we still suffer from leadership deficiency – in our nation, workplaces, churches and homes.
We have too many leaders who believe their position mandates their influence, rather than their influence enabling them to be effective in their position.
Many of today’s leaders lead by forced coercion – a “my way or the highway” mindset that makes them more dictators.
President Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The leader leads, and the boss drives. The Boss often plays the Boss Card. They force obedience, strictly because of their position and status. But, as author and expert John Maxwell says, “Leadership is not about titles, positions or flowcharts. It’s about one life influencing another.”
As you are reading this, odds are you are picturing someone you know in a leadership position that drives more than they lead. I know I am picturing someone as I write. I also have to quickly examine my own life.God has placed all of us in a position of leadership, if not in our workplaces or churches, then certainly in our homes as parents.
I know there have been times when I don’t exemplify the qualities of a Godly leader. I don’t want to knock all of the great books out there on leadership.
There are some terrific resources available from people who know far more about the topic than many of us do.
But, there’s one resource that has a lot to say on the topic of effective leadership, and it’s available for free. You can actually access it right on your phone. It’s the Bible, and the passage is Proverbs 16. Go ahead and read it. I’ll wait. This chapter is chock full of leadership lessons. Below are nine principles that are critical characteristics of a good, godly leader.
A good leader seeks God’s direction
Is there anything more important in a leader than he or she seeking God’s direction? Proverbs 16:1 says “The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.
” Verse 3 adds, “Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.” And verse 9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
” A good leader seeks the Lord, commits his way to the Lord, and the Lord establishes the next steps.
A good leader is modest, not arrogant
We’ve all encountered the know-it-all leader, the “submit-or-else” type of leader. But Proverbs 16:5 says, “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.” I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t want to be referred to as an abomination to the Lord. That’s some pretty scary stuff.
Proverbs 16:7 says “When a man's ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Yet so many leaders aren’t interested in examining an opposing viewpoint or other ideas.
We’ve lost the ability to empathize with others, and compromise has become a bad word. There’s something to be said of sticking to principles. I believe God calls us to be steadfast. He doesn’t however, call us to be jerks.
And, when our “boldness” is interpreted as “coldness,” we are not doing it right.
A good leader is fair and just
“Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues with injustice” (Proverbs 16:8). I believe in goals, and working hard to achieve them. But, the end always justifying the means is simply not true. A good leader is more interested in doing things the right way.
A good leader surrounds himself or herself with honest, trustworthy counselors … and then listens to them
“Righteous lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right” (Proverbs 16:13).
Do you know leaders who surround themselves with “yes” people? Personal insecurity drives them to seek only positive reinforcement for every decision they make.
A smart leader surrounds himself or herself with smarter people, who are willing to speak their minds and offer sound counsel. After all, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).
A good leader is a good learner
Proverbs 16:16 says, “How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.” A good leader should always be learning, growing and improving. The day you feel there is nothing left to learn is the day that pride and arrogance have taken root. And, we’ve already discussed how the Lord feels about arrogance.
A good leader is humble
We’ve seen countless prominent examples of Proverbs 16:18: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
” From politicians and celebrities to CEOs and pastors, many have grabbed headlines as their empires have fallen. In most of these cases, it’s pride that has crept in. They thought themselves invincible, but quickly found out that no one is.
“It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud” (Proverbs 16:19).
A good leader is sensible and kind
“Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it, but the instruction of fools is folly. The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips” (Proverbs 16:22-23). Being smart and sensible makes a good leader more persuasive and effective. A good leader uses “gracious words” (verse 24), not speech that is “ a scorching fire” (verse 27).
A good leader is slow to anger
We’ve all seen the caricatures in movies and television of the angry boss; the person who yells for no reason, barks orders and berates and demoralizes the staff. Perhaps you’ve even worked for such a person. The Bible says that “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
” As you read through these qualities of a good leader, hopefully you find them as challenging as I do. God tells us how to be effective, godly leaders. It’s up to us to put our human tendencies aside and embrace these principles.
It’s also up to us to pray for those under which we serve, that they too would be the good leaders God wants them to be.
Brent Rinehart is a public relations practitioner and freelance writer. He blogs about the amazing things parenting teaches us about life, work, faith and more at www.apparentstuff.com. You can also follow him on .
Photo Credit: ©Pexels/Rebrand Cities
4 Must Haves of Effective Youth Ministry
It was my seventh year in youth ministry when a dad walked into my office and changed everything. He pulled out a chair and asked if we could talk. He looked me right in the eyes and said something that I have never forgotten.
He said, “As a father, I take the role of instilling Christ into the lives of my children very seriously. Because of that responsibility I want to make sure that my kids are involved in a youth program that is Jesus-focused.
So tell me, why I should trust you and the program you run?”
I was speechless, then a big smile came over my face and I told him, “Thank you.” After about an hour of conversation he left feeling comforted and assured that our ministry was a great fit for his daughters.
I had only been at this church for a few weeks and never met his girls until the following week at our youth gathering. This man understood and valued the incredible influence a youth leader and their program can have on children.
I was a veteran of youth ministry and have been a leader of hundreds of students. That was the first time a parent had ever taken a serious interest in my ability to lead.
The problem is, most parents make the assumption that when their child attends their church’s youth program they are going to be surrounded by godly people, be equipped as a disciple of Christ, and be in a Christ centered environment.
Most youth leaders have a calling for ministry and their programs are successful, but there are situations that are not so healthy.
Parents need to take a serious interest in the youth ministry their child is involved with and take time to evaluate and examine four crucial components before making a family commitment to the program. As a parent, you are responsible for your child’s spiritual development.
This responsibility is so great, just assuming your child is in a great program isn’t enough, you need to be sure. Here are 4 aspects of youth ministry that I consider to be must-haves:
For many churches, when they are looking to hire a youth leader, the main focus is on education. While education is a great quality to look for in a youth leader, it is not the most essential.
There are many youth directors with a wealth of education who ultimately fail at being a positive impact in the lives of students because they lack an essential ingredient—passion! Your youth leaders need to have a passion for Christ and for students. Being passionate about something means it is pursued with great enthusiasm.
If your youth leader is chasing after God’s own heart, they will be a tremendous asset, mentor, and example to the child that you are entrusting them with.As a result of their passion for Christ and students they have a desire to make sure your child is being fed spiritual truth. They accomplish this by being in constant prayer about the direction the Spirit is guiding them. They will surrender their plans for the ministry for God’s much greater plans.
They will fight for your child not only on a spiritual level, but a personal one as well. Most importantly, they will make sure that everything in the ministry God has handed over to them will be authentic. When a program has Godly leadership, is authentic, and seeks Gods wisdom it will become spiritually healthy.
When that happens, it will naturally grow and you will see spiritual fruit growing in your child. This is what constitutes a truly effective youth ministry.
2) Equipping rather than entertaining
While having fun is important, it should never be nor appear to be the primary goal of the youth ministry. Introducing your child to Christ, developing your child as a disciple, and providing your child with tools that will allow them to grow into a godly man or woman should be the top priority.
Your leader needs to have an overwhelming understanding and dedication to growing as part of the Church. I’ve found the purpose-driven youth ministry model to be a helpful way of defining this for youth.
These 5 “purposes of the church” are found in the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, which are passionately explained by Paul in Ephesians 4, and are part of Christ’s prayer in John 17.
The five purposes are worship, discipleship, fellowship, evangelism, and ministry. These should be the driving force behind everything your youth ministry does because that is what scripture commands.
In Acts 2:42-47 the five purposes of the church are mentioned: they fellowshipped, discipled one another, worshipped, ministered, and evangelized.
As a result, verse 47 says, “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
3) Culture of care
There is nothing more discouraging when your child feels they cannot relate with a youth leader or the other students. This happens more often than one would think and the reason is the culture that is in place.
The culture of your youth program should be one built on love, acceptance, accountability, encouragement, and transparency.
When your child is enveloped in a safe and secure environment, the walls they have built up begin to fall and they become more comfortable with who God created them to be, and as a result, your child will be more willing to share their life struggles and spiritual journey with others.Creating and living out this culture in your youth ministry is also vital when new students attend.
They feel they are in a place that fully accepts them for who they are regardless of where they are in their relationship with Jesus or the story they come from, and that is an incredible feeling for a young person to have.
Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 2:8 “so we cared for you, because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” This can only happen when a safe, secure, and healthy culture is in place.
4) Partnering with parents
As a parent, you are the most important influence your child will ever have in their relationship with Jesus. However, many parents struggle with setting an example at home, not because they can’t or are unwilling, they just don’t know how.
That’s why it is essential that your youth program has a partnership mentality. What is a partnership mentality? Your youth staff stresses the importance of working together with parents to set Godly examples in the church, but more importantly, in the home.
This is accomplished by encouraging and equipping parents with tools that they can practice at home. Provide them with unlimited resources that best fit their family.
Your child’s spiritual life will be much greater if they are influenced not only during youth gatherings but at home as well.
Your child faces incredible influences every day, many from earthly standards. It is time we rise up and take our children’s spiritual health and guidance seriously. As a youth ministry veteran and a parent, I cannot emphasize the importance of these qualities enough.
Please take the time to sit down with the leader of your current youth program and investigate these components. If you feel your child is in a great place after your meeting, that’s fantastic.
But if you walk away with any doubt, seriously consider finding a new place for your child to spiritually thrive. Don’t assume, be sure.
Listen and subscribe to the new Youth Ministry Collective podcast
MA in Christian Leadership – Dallas Theological Seminary
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Preparation for organizational leadership roles in church, parachurch, missions, and marketplace contexts.
The MACL program at DTS is designed to help men and women learn who God has uniquely gifted them to lead in whatever ministry setting they are called to serve.
Students in all of professional MA programs at DTS will be able to:
- demonstrate a general knowledge of the Bible, including a synthetic understanding of the major books;
- evidence an understanding of the historical development of theology, a knowledge of premillennial theology, and an ability to support their theological views and apply them to contemporary issues; and
- evidence an increasing ness to Christ as manifested in love for God, love for others, and the fruit of the Spirit.
Goals for MA in Christian Leadership
In addition to the goals common to all professional degree programs at the seminary, students in this program will be able to:
- develop a biblical philosophy of Christian leadership;
- appraise the leadership needs of an organization;
- design a leadership development plan for an organization; and
- demonstrate transformational leadership skills within an organization.
Sixty-three semester hours of coursework are required as a minimum for graduation.
Of those hours, 22 are in prescribed Bible Exposition courses, 18 hours are in prescribed Systematic Theology courses, 3 are in the Christian Life and Witness course, 15 are leadership related courses from the Division of Ministries and Communication, 1 is in Orientation and Research Methods, and 3 hours are in an internship. A 1-hour summative research project is also required.
Because DTS values Christ character and spiritual maturity, MACL students are required to register for and participate in Spiritual Formation groups for four consecutive fall and spring semesters at either the Dallas, Houston, or Washington DC campus.
(MACL students who are not planning to move to Dallas, Houston, or Washington DC for four consecutive fall and spring semesters must contact the Spiritual Formation Office and apply for an alternative program for completing their Spiritual Formation requirement.
In the Spiritual Formation curriculum, small groups of five to seven students focus on identity, community, integrity, and fidelity. The groups also provide an atmosphere for prayer, fellowship, and the integration of learning with life and ministry.
Because students participate with the same group during four consecutive semesters, they should plan their schedules so they may meet on the same day and at the same time each semester. Spiritual Formation is a noncredit, transcripted experience. Internship prerequisites include successful completion of SF100-1, EML101, and completion of half of their DTS course work.Additional Spiritual Formation courses focusing on leadership may be taken as electives.
Students in the MA in Christian Leadership (MACL) program are required to take MinistrySafe’s Sexual Abuse Awareness Training.
The Mobile MACL is designed to allow qualifying students to stay in their current ministry while completing the requirements for the degree. The Mobile MACL is a cohort delivery model that allows students in a particular locale to go through the program together.
DTS partners with local church and parachurch ministries to offer the degree. Locations are approved by the seminary as needed and when a sufficient number of students to comprise a cohort are enrolled in the program. DTS currently operates the MACL throughout the world.
The seminary continues to consider new locations at which to offer the Mobile MACL.
The model includes a combination of residential (majority face-to-face) courses at the mobile location, residential courses in Dallas (or at another approved location), and online courses.
In order to minimize time away from work and ministry, the residential courses in Dallas are special week-long courses at four different times during the degree program.
During these weeks students complete online work before coming to Dallas, fulfill the residential requirements for courses in one week at Dallas, and complete online work after returning home. In the end, students spend a total of four weeks in Dallas over the course of the program.
Qualifying students may complete a ministry residency (an internship local to the student with intensives on the Dallas campus). See www.dts.edu/ministryresidency for detailed explanation.
Thus, after 44 hours online and a 12-hour ministry residency, only 9 hours need to be completed in a class room to earn the MACL.
These 9 hours can be completed through week-long intensives in Dallas or Houston, or through regular courses at any of our distance locations approved to offer the degree.
See the many ways students are prepared for a lifetime of fruitful ministryGod has placed our graduates in a variety of settings including traditional church work, parachurch ministries, and schools, as well as in corporations and homes.
Alec and Amy Zacaroli Work Toward Purpose in Washington, DC Dr. Todd Phillips’ Goal to Provide Clean Drinking Water to Liberia Dr. Josh Bleeker – Serving Leaders in Washington, D.C. Meet Dorothy Burton, Founder of Christians in Public Service Janet Pope’s Passion for Scripture Keith Twigg Ministers in Wyoming while Studying Online
Over 90% of DTS students graduate without taking on additional debt. This is possible because of the generosity of our donors who make over 4 million dollars of scholarship funds available every year.
DTS faculty affirm our full doctrinal statement every year, while our diverse community of students are centered around these seven core doctrines of evangelical faith.
the authority and inerrancy of Scripture Christ’s full deity and humanity the spiritual lostness of the human race Christ’s substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection salvation by faith alone in Christ alone the physical return of Christ
The deadline for fall applications as July 1, for spring is November 1, and for summer is April 1.
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This form will enable us to email you with details about your campus and degree program and followup with additional information customized to your goals.
Ministry & Leadership
The College of Theology facilitates Spirit-led growth and discipleship in students and equips them as ministers and leaders in the body of Christ.
Foundational to this purpose, students are equipped with a solid knowledge of the Bible, a sound understanding of theology and an effective grasp of ministry enabling them, through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, to proclaim the healing Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Within the Ministry & Leadership major, students select one of five concentrations: church administration, evangelism & outreach, local church pastor, missions, or youth & family ministry.
In each area of concentration a cognate of hermeneutics, an Old and New Testament elective, research seminar, introduction to theology, and either major world religions or Christian apologetics is required.
Church Administration Concentration
The church administration concentration educates and equips students to become church administrators. Foundational to this concentration is training in organization, programming, leadership aspects and the relationship of the church to the denomination and society.
Skills are developed in the administration of nonprofit organizations, principles of management and organizational behavior. Students also acquire skills in preaching and teaching the Bible.
This major emphasizes a strong biblical/theological foundation and provides well-balanced training in the theory and practice of pastoral ministry.
Course Offerings for the Church Administration concentration include:
- Ministry Practicum
- Principles of Management
- Organizational Behavior
- Administration of Non-Profit Organizations
- Teaching the Bible
- Sermon Preparation and Preaching
Evangelism and Outreach Concentration
The evangelism & outreach concentration prepares students for service in the professional capacity of itinerant evangelist or staff evangelist. It emphasizes a strong biblical/theological foundation and provides well-balanced training in the theory and practice of evangelism.
Course Offerings for the Evangelism and Outreach concentration include:
- Introduction to Evangelism
- Ministry Practicum
- Evangelism and the Local Church
- Church Growth and Planting
- Urban Outreach Ministries
- Sermon Preparation and Preaching
Local Church Pastor Concentration
The local church pastor concentration educates and equips students to prepare God's people for righteous living and works of service so that the body of Christ is built and flourishes.
Students receive broad knowledge and a diversity of skills in pastoral care, preaching, teaching the Bible, evangelism, mission work and discipleship developing pastoral attitudes and abilities to help them train, supervise, lead and nurture a local congregation of believers.
It emphasizes a strong biblical/theological foundation and provides well-balanced training in the theory and practice of pastoral ministry.
Course offerings for the Local Church Pastor Concentration include:
- Church Growth and Planting
- Christian Leadership
- Pastoral Care
- Sermon Preparation and Preaching
- Ministry Practicum
- Team Ministry
- Church Administration
The missions concentration educates and prepares students to fulfill Jesus' commission to reach all nations with the witness of God's saving love.
It is designed for students preparing for all types of service as domestic or foreign missionaries or tentmakers in both long-term and short-term cross-cultural ministry. It is also arranged to educate students for duties as church mission directors or supervisors.
It emphasizes a strong biblical/theological foundation and provides well-balanced training in the theory and practice of missions.
Course Offerings for the Missions Concentration include:
- History of Missions
- Missions and Culture
- Introduction to Christian Missions
- Theology of Missions
- Missions Internship
- Major Religions of the World
To learn more about our Missions Internships, please visit our Missions & GMMP Internship page.
This major responds to the pervasive interest in Sports in America. Besides the NFL, WNBA, MMA, NASCAR, and other professional organizations, people are involved in summer camps, church camps, sports skills camps, independent sports leagues, and other youth athletics.
The field is wide open for chaplaincies, camp directors and counselors, strength coaches, team coaches, and ministers to be involved in evangelism and discipleship ministries.
Students in the Sports Ministry major receive training in legal aspects of sports as well as ways to minister the Gospel to athletically-minded Americans.
Course Offerings for the Sports Ministry Concentration include:
- Pastoral Ministry
- Global Perspective of Sport
- Psychology of Human Performance
- Ethics and Christian Approaches to Counseling
Youth & Family Ministry Concentration
The youth & family ministry concentration educates and equips students to be youth ministers in the local church. Students gain an understanding of the foundations for ministry, roles and relationship of the youth minister and administrative principles and strategies.
Students receive broad knowledge and a diversity of skills in pastoral care, preaching, teaching the Bible, evangelism, mission work and discipleship.
It emphasizes a strong biblical/theological foundation and provides well-balanced training in the theory and practice of youth ministry.
Course Offerings for the Youth Ministry Concentration include:
- Youth Culture
- Introduction to Youth Ministry
- Ministry Practicum
- Media and Technology in Ministry
- Pastoral Care of Families with Youth
- Teaching the Bible
- Sermon Preparation and Preaching
A degree in ministry and leadership will prepare you to fulfill God's call on your life to become:
- Youth pastor
- Children's pastor
What Do You Have To Look Forward To?
Developing a heart of service…interacting with students from other countries and backgrounds…refining your understanding of different theological perspectives…joining a community of believers to further the Gospel.
Degree Plan for Church Administration
Degree Plan for Evangelism and Outreach
Degree Plan for Local Church Pastors
Degree Plan for Missions
Degree Plan for Youth & Family Ministry