How to Lead a Little Stronger

By Lyn Smith

leadEngage Spiritually

One of the marks of strong, godly leadership is the ability to make decisions. If the leader is walking intimately with God every day through Bible reading and prayer, then the Holy Spirit’s guidance is usually not difficult to discern. It may take a few days or weeks, and maybe fasting to focus on specific issues, but God promises that when we ask for wisdom, He gives it generously. He also says that His sheep hear His voice. So if a leader is praying, searching The Word, fasting and listening, he or she can make decisions with God confidence. The people following such a leader are encouraged and feel secure when decisive action is taken.

Listen and Respond

On the other hand, people can become discouraged and unsettled when leaders fail to make timely decisions. They doubt the sincerity of their leaders, their confidence, and even their spiritual lives. People do want to be heard, so good leaders listen. But great leaders respond. They steward well the thoughts and concerns of their people, by humbly bringing the issues to God, receiving His guidance, and making decisions. Even if the answer is not what they wanted, the people can respect the leader for having taken them seriously enough to pray and respond.

Be Intentional and Strategic

When there is a committee involved, or a board of elders, or deacons, it can be extremely challenging to move forward efficiently. This is often where strong or weak leadership is revealed. The weak leader lets issues sit on the table for months with no resolution or response. The strong leader puts a time limit on it. He or she allows discussion over it, necessary steps are taken to research it, it is prayed over as a group and individually, and then a decision is made by the date originally set. If there is a time delay, those concerned are informed. A new deadline is set and honored.

God’s leaders listen and respond with humility, respect and integrity. Those following deserve nothing less.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

Graphic Texture by Brenda Starr

Lyn Smith

Lyn Smith served in Bible Study Fellowship International for 20 years as a Bible teacher and leadership trainer. You can read her blog and get to know her at  She co-hosts blog talk radio show “Living Truth”, serves on the Human Trafficking Task Force for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, and is on the speaking and writing team ofLeadHer. She lives with her husband and three children in the Oklahoma City area. When she's not doing life in her four-inch stilettos, she's being athletic and running in her favorite sneakers.