Vision Essentials 25

Knowing Your Leadership Capacity

A few weeks ago I spent a weekend with a group of young adults who were seeking clarity about their future ministry in the church. They all had contributions to make, mostly in teams, and it was fascinating just watching them work together. I observed some who seemed to be natural leaders, others who had potential to lead but seemed less willing to and, of course, there were those who were just happy to follow even though they may have some capacity to lead. All of this showed me that leadership comes in various shapes and sizes, and is evident in different situations.

Leading Happens at Many Levels

There are so many things in life that we do or are involved in which require leadership. From looking after the home, running a Sunday school class, taking a discussion group, to running a business or a church fellowship. In the church there are many areas which require leaders – and it’s vital that we get the idea that it’s not just the Pastor or the Leadership Team that leads. Leadership is about influencing others; it’s about getting others to act together to achieve a particular goal.  Ask yourself the question, “In what areas do I lead?”

Yes, leading happens at different levels and people with different leadership capacities are needed to work in different areas within the church. Once you’ve determined you’re able to lead and you know where and how you do this, you’re in a good position to impact a ministry area in the church and to grow in leadership.  If you’re leading at the wrong level (outside of your capacity) you will do harm to yourself and those whom you’re leading. So…it becomes important for us to know the level at which we should be leading.

What determines my capacity?

Ability is not the same as capacity. Capacity has to do with ‘amount’. In this case, the maximum you can do or give in a particular area. We all have ability but capacity asks, “How much?” We have different capacities and it’s important for you to know your capacity to lead. Your capacity is dependent on a number of things:

  • Your Personality – this points to the kind of person you are; how you’re designed, whether you’re an introverted or extroverted person; whether you’re a player or spectator; whether you can get people on your side or not. Personality is not fixed; it can be developed over time. What sort of ‘personality’ are you?
  • Your Gifting – this is the abilities and talents that you’ve been endowed with. We have abilities that come from the Holy Spirit and natural talents that the Father built into us at birth. These play a part in your potential to lead. Have you done an inventory of your gifts?
  • Your Passion – this says that you have a strong enthusiasm for someone or something. Passion is often the force that drives you on to achieve a goal when all else has deserted you. What are you passionate about?
  • Your Life Experience – the experiences that you have in life are crucial in shaping your character, attitude, values, competence and vision. Have you reflected on your life experiences to see how they might influence your leadership?

 The Benefits of Knowing Your Capacity

We may not be aware of this but it’s a fact: the health of our congregation and the strength of its ministry have much to do with people finding their place of service and, critically, all leaders knowing at what level they should be leading.

When you know your leadership capacity you become more effective

  • You don’t carry responsibility you’re not made to carry
  • You’re not over extending yourself and wearing yourself out
  • Your energy is focussed and targeted

When you know your leadership capacity you’re happier in your work

  • You’re not plagued with guilt – thinking that you ought to be doing more
  • You’re doing the best you can with what Yahweh has given you
  • You’re content and at peace with yourself

When you know your leadership capacity you’re able to release others into new areas of work

  • By vacating areas outside of your capacity
  • By encouraging others around you to follow your example and lead from their own capacity

If you’re a minister in the fellowship you’re a person of influence – exercise that influence from where you are. If you feel you’re leading at a level beyond your capacity talk to someone! Lead in the capacity you’ve been endowed with through the grace of Yahweh.

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“When work, commitment, and pleasure all become one and you reach that deep well where passion lives, nothing is impossible.” Anon

“If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be.” John Heywood

"Leadership is not about creating followers only. It's about creating other leaders. I'm at my finest as a leader when I have created an organization full of individuals who can exercise leadership in support of the common goals and objectives that we share." Nancy Greer





For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith [Elohim] has distributed to each of you. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Romans 12:3, 6-8

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HEAVENLY FATHER, You’ve called me to be a minister in your congregation and I want to serve to the best of my ability. In order to do that, please help me to discover my leadership capacity. I don’t want to be an obstruction to other people growing in their service by holding on to responsibilities that exceed my capacity.


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