Many people have said that young or aspiring leaders should be FHAT: Faithful, Humble, Available and Teachable. I think that’s true, but there’s something else that I look for. It flows from each of the FHAT characteristics, but goes even further.
It’s something I look for and admire in all people, but I think it’s especially important for potential leaders. When it comes to aspiring pastors or church planters (and I’m around many in our Pastoral Residency Program), this quality is crucial.
I’m looking for leaders who display hunger and initiative for learning.
Good leaders are learners.
Great leaders, however, are hungry and proactive learners.
I’m looking for leaders who:
- are confident, but aren’t know-it-alls.
- know that it’s cheaper to learn from others’ mistakes than their own.
- initiate meetings to learn from those who are strong where they’re weak.
- are eager to read, listen to messages and attend conferences.
- can learn from people outside of their “tribe” or perspective.
Recently our Student Ministry Director approached a retired school teacher about meeting because he wants her to help him think through how to engage his students with a love for reading.
An aspiring church planter recently wanted to meet with me and came prepared with a list of questions he needed help with.
A relatively new pastor offered to take me to dinner if I’d listen to one of his sermons and give him feedback (I’m still working on it).
Another young man asked me if he could have our preaching schedule and a list of recommended commentaries so that he could study the passages in depth before hearing me preach about them.
These are leaders who I know will succeed and who I’m happy to invest in.
Are you a leader like this?