6 Types of Leaders Who Will Help Your Church Grow

Photo by kern.justin at Flickr

When I was a kid, there was a wall at my grandparents’ house where all the grandkids marked their height through the years. I have over 25 cousins, so you can imagine all the little dashes with names and dates next to them.

I never noticed I was growing. But every time we visited, I looked down on my last dash.

You want leaders that help your church grow like that.

My first title for this article was “6 Types of Leaders Who Are Like Steroids for Your Church’s Growth.” Then I realized how bad of a metaphor that was for the kind of growth that is best for churches. Avoid leaders that are like steroids for church growth with the same vigor as the plague and the devil.

The title for this article didn’t turn out as flashy as I aimed for at first. But you clicked on it because you know long-term church growth isn’t flashy. The growth your church needs won’t come quickly or artificially.

This is a follow-up from my last article, “6 Types of Leaders Who Stunt Your Church’s Growth.” Steer these types of guys away from the leadership offices of pastor/elder/overseer and deacon. They may be spiritually mature, but they are not gifted for leadership. On the other hand, here are six guys to snag for leadership roles.

1. Straight Shootin’ Steve. Every big visionary pastor needs leaders who will shoot straight with them. Unlike What If William, the potential issues Steve brings to the table need to be considered. He’s the Simon Cowell of elders. His criticism gets booed the loudest, his praise gets cheered the loudest, but he’s usually right either way.

2. Experienced Edward. Edward is probably retired. He has gray hair, and wears the same style of glasses as Cutting Edge Curtis, but he doesn’t know they’re cool. Edward doesn’t say much, but when he does, a hush falls on the meeting. When he speaks, everyone listens because his input funnels decades of walking close with Jesus and loving the saints.

3. All-In Allen. Allen is an inexhaustible servant. He asks how he can help with a smile on his face. If he isn’t married, Allen abuses his gift of singleness by helping out in several ministries in the church. He even limits his hours at the office so that he can spend more time on discipleship and serving.

4. Businessman Bill. Bill brings a knowledge of finances and a knack for organizational detail that most pastors have little or no training in. Don’t confuse him with, Church-as-Business Chester, who tries to run the church like a business. Bill understands which leadership principles belong only in the business world, and which ones carry over to the church.

5. Professor Peter. Peter knows God’s word inside and out, not merely intellectually and superficially, but theologically and practically. When Bill has an idea for a ministry opportunity, Peter makes sure that it is theologically driven. When an issue comes up that is beyond the non-vocational leaders theological pay grade, Peter takes a few minutes to explain the issue – minus the jargon – and the implications that are at stake.

6. Visionary Vinny. To lead is to have a picture of what the future could look like for your church. Vinny can see that future. What he sees over the horizon might appear a bit unrealistic, and he might not have all the details between here and there worked out. Don’t let that frustrate you. Businessman Bill will fill in the gaps.

When you have effective leaders in place, you might not notice the growth. You might wonder if God is working in your church. But when you look back, you will see dashes aplenty that indicate how far you have come.


  1. Thanks for using my name as the negative example, Eric.

  2. This was very helpful. Thank you for sharing!

  3. This is a great list. I would just like to add that I’ve seen plenty of single “All-in-Allen” types, and the trouble is that they can get exhausted. They are over-worked, frustrated, then eventually burnt out to the point where they leave the church feeling unappreciated. Make sure these guys (and gals) know they’re loved and that their service is ultimately to God, not man. Also, don’t let anyone make church their whole life. I’ve also seen plenty of married “All-in-Allens” who serve the church so much that they neglect their family. We all need a some balance.