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Your Leadership Effectiveness Number

Featured / Leadership / February 17, 2014

Over the past several of years, I’ve unearthed a leadership effectiveness principle that dramatically impacts the way volunteers are led and recruited in the church. This concept should not be ignore. As a matter of fact, this principle should be a foundational paradigm in the mind of every church planter starting out (especially those crazy enough to parachute plant).

Axiom by Bill HybelsMy discovery began when I read a statement by Bill Hybels in his book entitled Axiom

“Let’s say I have a staff leader who is about a five on the leadership effectiveness scale, ten being the highest…As unfortunate as this is, what complicates matters is that a five can never attract, motivate or retain people who are higher on the effectiveness scale than they are. Fives can recruit and mobilize and retain fours and threes and twos and ones, but no matter how hard they try, fives cannot lead sixes or eights or tens. Likewise, eights can lead and empower sevens and sixes, but give them a nine and the nine will soon bail. Leadership just works like that.”[cjtoolbox name=’Slider’ ] [/cjtoolbox]

Your Leadership Effectiveness Number:

The truth of Hybel’s statement is undeniable. And yet, his idea is incomplete unless we clearly define the characteristics that make up a “ten” on the Leadership Effectiveness Scale. Below are four key characteristics that, once averaged, determine your Leadership effectiveness number.

Leadership Competence:

Just because your first grade teacher chose you to lead the class to lunch doesn’t mean you know a thing about leadership. When you’re a leader, nothing beats a little time behind the wheel with some intensional training to fine-tune your craft.

Go ahead and rate your perceived leadership competence by sliding the dot on the scale below. Do you evidence a broad-base, skillful participation in the work of leadership?

Ministry Experience:

Let’s be honest, leading volunteers in a ministry context has a set unique challenges. Working as Vice-President at Bank of America doesn’t necessarily qualify you to effectively lead a ministry team. There’s something about having a leader who has earned a few battle scars serving and leading volunteers in the church.

Give yourself 1 point for every year that you have actively served in ministry at a local church. (maximum of 10 points) Again, slide the dot.

Emotional Intelligence:

Emotional Intelligence is a hot topic among leadership circles these days. A leader without emotional intelligence will create division and chaos wherever he goes – he has little self-awareness. But, a leader with a high emotional intelligence will care as much about the health of the team as the task at hand. They intuitively sense what people need and respond.

Now, rate your Emotional Intelligence. Do you have a high level of personal awareness and control; are you able to handle other team members judiciously and empathetically?

Spiritual Maturity:

There’s a huge difference between being “churched” and “spiritually mature.” Just look at the Pharisees. Church Leadership requires spiritual maturity and a deep abiding relationship with God.

Evaluate spiritual maturity by comparing the fruit of the Spirit to your current state of living.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

The Average:

Below is your current Leadership Effectiveness Number based on your ratings above. If you are a church planter or leader, I’d love to have your feedback. What are the implications of this principle in your context?

Leadership Number






Dave Milam
Dave Milam is a pastor, communicator and the founder of One Life Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a a gifted communicator Dave's right brained style of delivery helps his listener connect and remember God's truth in a uniquely visual way. Connect with Dave on Google+




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2 Comments

on February 18, 2014

Agree with the premise… leaders can’t lead someone to a place that is beyond themselves… They may be able to point you in the right direction, but they can’t lead you there …

one problem in the execution … the 1 point for every year of experience serving in a local church can dramatically skew the numbers … with 25 years of ministry experience, my average is boosted well over 11 points on a 10 point scale … I think I’m a pretty good leader … but I’m not that good … maybe 1 point for every two years of ministry experience … Experience is valuable and it should raise the leadership level of the leader, but experience doesn’t always translate into leadership effectiveness…

on February 18, 2014

Steve, great point! I should have clearly capped the ministry experience to 10. (just changed the post) I figure, after about 10 years, you probably get it. 1 point for every two years could work too.

In the church planting world, ministry experience is an overlooked quality that is desperately needed in our volunteer leaders. Most planters would give their left arm for a team of seasoned volunteers.

Great to hear from you!



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