Two Key Qualities of Leaders in Ministry By Jay Daniell

Whether identifying a new Pastor, a new Ministry Leader or a new Small Group Leader, I have found two key ingredients necessary for success. Please don’t misunderstand; many variables come into play when identifying specific ministry leadership roles. But, if leadership candidates do not meet these two criteria, their leadership is doomed before they begin.

I have learned to always ask: Is this person CAPABLE? And, are they AVAILABLE?

CAPABLE – having power and ability; competent

  • Do they possess the skills and ability to accomplish the task? Or, do they have the capacity to learn and implement the skills needed?
  • It’s likely you would not be considering a leadership candidate if you did not think them capable. However, some deeper probing may be warranted to make the determination. For instance, just because someone has attended training does not mean they are capable of doing the task. Zig Ziglar once said “the world is full of educated derelicts.”

AVAILABLE – able for use

  • Do they have enough margin of time to accomplish the task? Or, will they truly allocate enough time to adequately accomplish the job?
  • This is a big one in ministry. Whether hiring a professional or recruiting a volunteer, the candidate must be available to accomplish the job. Personal and professional obligations often stand in the way of allowing a potential leader to get the job done.

For me, it is easier to identify if someone is capable of leading. Spending a little time with and asking a few probing questions can often lead to an understanding of their capability.

Identifying someone’s availability is usually where I get into trouble. If a candidate is capable, I can often lead (or guilt) them to do a task. However, getting a “yes” from someone who has no time for the job is doomed for disaster. I know; I’ve been there; I’ve done that; I bought the t-shirt. For me, it takes great discipline to truly investigate if a person has the availability to lead.

Always ask: Is this person CAPABLE? And, are they AVAILABLE?


Have a question or an insight? Leave it below!

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Daniel Thomas

Connections Director


Daniel serves as Executive Pastor at Community Church of Mountain City, TN.  Daniel and his family are on a mission to establish roots within their community, fight for peace and serve well.  He serves as our Connections Director in laying the groundwork for Circles. He loves great coffee and traveling with his wife Tia and two children, Deklan and Aden



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