Preaching Articles

People follow people they trust. They trust people they respect.

As a leader, one of your most valuable and needed assets is the respect of the people you are trying to lead. If a leader is respected, people will follow him or her almost anywhere.   If a leader looses respect it becomes very difficult to regain respect.

Often a new leader is given respect because of his or her position as a leader, but respect can be quickly lost due to performance. Many times it’s the seemingly small things which cause the most damage to a leader’s reputation and damages respect.

I have found with a few simple (some not so simple) acts help protect the respect a leader enjoys.

Here are 7 ways to maintain respect as a leader:

Be responsive. Return phone calls and emails promptly. Be accessible to real people. You may not always be available, but you can create systems where people are genuinely valued and heard.

Be consistent. Do what you say you will do. Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Don’t tell people what they want to hear, but speak grace and truth in all circumstances. Let people learn to trust you are a person of your word and can be depended upon based on what you say.

Have high character. Act with integrity. Be honest. Protect your moral credibility. Be transparent and open to challenge. Allow a few people to know the real you and speak into the dark places of your life.

Be fair to everyone. Don’t be too harsh. Don’t be too soft. Treat everyone with respect. Genuinely love people. (People know when you do or don’t.)

Keep growing. Learn continually and encourage growth in yourself and others. Ask questions. Be teachable. Read. Observe. Glean from others and experience.

Have good work ethic. I personally think leaders should work as hard or harder than others on their team. But, having a good work ethic doesn’t mean over-working either. It’s working smart and setting a good example for others to follow.

Be courageous. Make hard decisions. Don’t shy away from conflict. Know who you are in Christ and live boldly the calling God places on your life. Live with the aim to finish well — in spite of the obstacles you encounter.

Maintaining respect is a matter of acting in a respectable way. How are you doing? You may want to ask the ones you are supposed to be leading.

What would you add to my list?

Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years of business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he's been in full-time ministry for over eight years.  

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Jeff Strite

commented on Nov 16, 2015

I would add: 1) give of your best labor to the message. 2) Compliment good workers. 3) Constantly look for ways to grow the church. 4) Stay in constant contact with your leaders and remind them of things you are doing as well as accomplishments the church has experienced over the past year.

Keith Roberts

commented on Nov 16, 2015

Men: love, respect and honor your wife as Christ loves the church.

Gary Gustman

commented on Nov 17, 2015

As the Apostle Paul wrote "Imitate me as I imitate Christ" Be a good, sincere, example. Be Christlike.

Roland Wroten

commented on Nov 17, 2015

Please add, to be accountable to someone.

James Awosina

commented on Aug 9, 2019

... Be authentic. Detest hypocrisy and cultivate integrity in your own life.

E L Zacharias

commented on Aug 9, 2019

Listen more than talk. Pray. Repent. Forgive. Love. Serve. Believe and walk humbly with your God. Great list by you and by others.

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