1. Jesus knew that Biblical criteria help people objectively choose leaders rather than relying on subjective feelings about people. Jesus knew that Paul would encourage us to use Spirit led criteria when selecting church leaders. The Lord completely endorses the following Biblical qualifications for an overseer found in I Timothy 3:1-6: A. Above reproach and blameless B). The husband of but one wife C). Temperate D). Self-controlled E). Respectable F). Hospitable G). Able to teach H). Not given to drunkenness or any obsessions I). Not a lover of money J). Must manage his own household well and see that his children obey him with proper respect J). Not a recent convert K). Have a good reputation with. Be able to work effectively with all leaders and have a proven track record of successful ministry.
2. The leader should love the Lord with all his heart, soul, strength and mind and his neighbor as himself. (Luke 10:27) The Godly elder is only obsessed with loving the Lord above everything else. Good leaders are not distracted from their main goals. Godly leaders excel at facilitating the worship of our Lord. Great leaders help their people
know all of the Lord's attributes better.
3. The leader should be pro-active and visionary rather just than reactive to daily palavers. Great leaders demonstrate a balance of people and task skills. Godly leaders show all the characteristics of I Cor. 13:4-7 love.
4. The leader should be a servant to all people rather than to just certain favorite friends. An overseer is willing to serve as a consultant to facilitate peoples' ministries rather than trying to control them. Great leaders are always learning better ways to help their people grow in all dimensions of their life in Christ.
5. The leader should consistently avoid any Pharisaical characteristics either in their personal or ministry lifestyles. Jesus said, "You Pharisees are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men. But, the things that are highly esteemed among men are detestable in the sight of God." (Lk 15:16)
6. The leader should be committed to carrying out the organization's purpose statement. For example the purpose of SIM (Society for International Missions) is to glorify God by planting, strengthening and partnering with churches around the world as we 1). Evangelize the unreached 2) Minister to human need 3). Disciples believers into churches 4). Equip churches to fulfill Christ's commission. Every organization should select their leader in terms of who will best help them fulfill their purpose statement.
7. The leader must have proven leadership, administrative and organizational skills. Jesus said, "You will know them by their fruit." (Matt. 7:16)
8. The leader should be a facilitator of others' ministries, not a coach or a dictator. Jesus did not come as an authoritarian, but as a servant and a friend. The Lord Jesus discipled men who were able to teach others also through planting and growing Christ centered churches.
9. The leader should be able to raise funds for projects that fit God's priorities of planting and growing churches and completing the great commission. (Matthew 28:18-20) The leader should be wise in the way he spends money so as to get the greatest eternal return on one's investments for God's harvest rather than on maintenance ministries.
10. The leader should not get bogged down in bureaucracies, policies, and procedures. The person should lead by example as he is growing in all aspects into Christ. (Eph. 4:11-16)
11. The leader should be willing to listen and work with a variety of gifts, personalities and perspectives. For example SIM is made up of 74 denominations. The person should be humble and teachable. The leader should evidence a Phil. 2:1-5 attitude. Paul wrote, "Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."
12. He should be approved by at least 70% of the people in the organization. A leader cannot lead unless the members are willing to follow.
13. A great leader is one who continually seeks first His kingdom and righteousness trusting the Lord to supply everything else. (Matt. 6:33) The kingdom-oriented leader is willing to persevere in seeing the will of God done regardless of the costs.
14. A great leader should have an exemplary prayer & devotional life. His devotional life is characterized by Matt. 7:7. "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock & the door will be opened to you."
15. The leader should be led more by faith than by fear. The leader should not seek peace at any price. The leader should not tend to operate out of ego deficiency, but loves to be led by the Holy Spirit with God given purposes, strengths and Biblical priorities. Godly leaders allow their people to work toward Spirit led goals.