Usually the words “humble” and “leadership” are not readily matched together. Humbleness implies meekness, lowliness and submission. Even the Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “humility” as “a modest or low view of one’s own importance”. In contrast, leaders want to be confident, strong and bold. They want to carve out paths and inspire others to follow behind. Yet, in church leadership, humbleness is vital to our ministries. Studies have shown that volunteers become more committed and engaged when their leader leads in humility. Humbleness creates a positive atmosphere which leads to higher performance. Beyond that, as Christ Followers, we have an even higher calling. We are called to model Jesus, who stepped out of heaven, took on flesh, and suffered our punishment by dying on the cross. His radical demonstration of humility should spur us on to want to emulate his example. So, how do we lead with humility?To lead with humility, we must be:
A humble leader is willing to learn from others. We must recognize that we are not skilled in everything and that others may do things better. Humble leaders are not afraid to learn new things. Be open to feedback and, when needed, adjust.
Humble leaders sincerely care about the needs of others. We should take time to prepare the environment our team will be working in. Humble leaders always make sure their team has what they need to succeed. Key in on individual needs and take time to get to know them. Most importantly, PRAY for your team!
Honestly can be one of the toughest areas for leaders, but it’s the most important skill for those who want to grow trust and transparency in their team. A humble leader admits mistakes without excuses. We need to take responsibility for team failures. Take time to self-reflect and look for ways that you need to grow.
A humble leader does not micromanage. We must be open to other’s ideas. Openly communicate change and make sure everyone is on the same page together. Get in the trenches and serve right alongside them. Take a rotation on the team if that is not something you do on a regular basis. Get their perspective by serving with them.
Lastly, humble leaders allow team members to do what they do best! Give opportunity for team members with leadership skills to lead. Be positive and encouraging ALWAYS! Take time to appreciate the team members individually. Let them know they are a valuable part of the team. True humble leadership will grow an environment that attracts committed and engaged team members. Proverbs 11:2 (NLT) says, “Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
We have been given the privilege to lead, but it doesn’t come without cost. When we lead out of our own strengths and with our own benefits in mind, we will fail. When we lead out in humility, we will find ourselves surrounded by people who believe in us, are motivated to do their very best and who are inspired to serve Jesus with us.