7 tips on how to spot a leader


God said ‘be fruitful and increase in number’.

Our purpose as leaders is to multiply ourselves into others so that fruitfulness isn’t just found in our lives but in the lives of those we disciple, and then in turn who they then disciple. Think cascade.  One of the challenges though is how to spot the right people to invest in. We don’t have infinite time and so investing wisely is a key part of the multiplying process.

We have been leading churches now for 10 years and below are some of things I wish I had known at the beginning – pieces of wisdom that we’ve had to learn the hard way!

Here’s 7 Tips on how to spot a leader………

1. Do they hear God’s voice?

Our main DNA is listening to God and doing what he says. That doesn’t mean that the people we invest in need to be world renowned prophets (as that would eliminate the majority of us). However, we have to invite leaders into our teams that are on a journey of recognising and hearing Gods voice. The ability to hear and discern Gods voice indicates an active relationship with Jesus which of course is crucial to someone being a good leader.

2. Do they both hear what God says and put it into practice?

The wise man hears the words and builds on them. Good leaders are those who do both halves of the learning circle. We all have a tendency towards either observe, reflect, discuss (listening to God, ideas and chat) or plan, account, act (do lots without really hearing God on things first) but a fruitful leader needs both elements to move forward.

3. Are they teachable?

We need people who will listen to God but also to others. One of the main qualities we look for in someone we are calling to be part of our team is teachability. Do they listen to you and put into practice what you suggest? Are they positioned towards you and are they willing to learn and hear what you have to say into their lives?

There is almost a parent/ child dynamic that goes on here. It’s certainly nothing to do with age as I have people double my age who call me their spiritual mother but a positioning of honour and submission that causes them to hear and put into practice. There general tone is “I want to hear what you have to say”. Are they a joy to lead?

4. Can they receive challenge?


We need people who are prepared to take challenge. Leading well, as Jesus modelled, is a case of both invitation and challenge. We all as leaders tend to sway naturally towards one or the other. I’m an invitation girl: plenty of encouragement, coffee in Starbucks and warmth! Really loving people though also means pointing our where they’re not following what God is saying to them, or where they’re behaviour is not displaying Christ. The ability to receive this kind of conversation is usually a real marker of spiritual maturity. If you are avoiding these conversations then something’s wrong! A leader who is willing to hear the truth in love and face their brokenness with faith and hope is a leader who will mature quickly.

5. Do people follow them?

Are they influential with friends, colleagues and those who don’t know Jesus? Are they good at building team? A leader is only a leader if people want to follow them and learn from them. A paid role or named position doesn’t create this. Investment of time, love and skills does. Are they willing to lay down their life for others?

6. Are they willing to operate in both vision and service?

Church life is a tension of both these elements, just like family life is. It can’t always be glory and great times. There are also times when we are called to put our hand to the plough and get stuck in and just serve. The best leaders can hear vision and get on board with it but also don’t moan when it’s hard work. Responsibility, service and vision are all required in order to see breakthrough.

7. Is there chemistry?

You need to like each other and get on! That doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges in your relationship along the way but chemistry is really important. All friendship and good meaningful relationships have an element of connection that is down to a natural ‘click’. God builds relationships in different ways but for you to invest your resource into someone it needs to be easy and not hard work!!

You can discover more practical and strategic input like this on how to raise and identify leaders in our book “Multiplying Missional Leaders” available HERE 

IMG_9186Annwen is married to Andy and together they lead The King’s Centre, part of  Network Church Shefffield (NCS). 

Andy and Annwen have 3 children, Caleb (11), Toby (9) and Elly (6) 

Image © Dmccale | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images


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