Three Roles of a Leader

Leadership can take many roles within a church. From small group facilitator to senior pastor, leaders come in all different forms. But there are three general roles good leaders embody to ensure their follower’s (and a church’s) success:


Going into the gym the other day for my daily workout routine, I noticed one of the staff members with a female gym member in the corner of the gym. The staff got the weights for her, then did each exercise alongside her. At times she demonstrated the exercise first and then the member copied what she saw. At other times they both simultaneously completed the exercise in a calculated, intentional mention, utilizing each muscle group to ensure maximum benefit.

This was new to me since I had seen other trainers bark orders at their clients, using fear-based tactics to beat them into submission.

It was interesting to observe the staff train the other in the hopes that when their session is done, that gym member can incorporate their newly learned exercises into their daily routine.

As leaders, we need to come alongside other leaders and train them in how best to lead others. Simply giving orders s to what to do is not enough, we must model good leadership. This means demonstrating good, healthy ways to lead then coaching others until they in turn model healthy leadership.


Construction sites need excavators to help them dig trenches and foundations, gather material, fill in holes and make general improvements to landscapes. Without them, construction workers would not be able to dig down deep enough to break up the ground below in order to make the necessary improvements.

Churches need leaders who are willing to dig deep into the souls of others to help them grow.

A leader has to be willing to excavate into their apprentices’ souls in order to bring forth the growth they desire. This is not an easy task. It requires perseverance, discernment and intuition.


Merriam Webster dictionary defines a facilitator as “one who facilitates, especially one that helps to bring about an outcome (as learning, productivity, or communication) by providing indirect or unobtrusive assistance, guidance or supervision.” Your role as a leader is to gently guide your members through the process of deep connection with members, whether that is the church as a whole or group members if leading a small group.

This seems like something that happens naturally, one that you think does not guidance. Yet, if a person is new to the triad model and has not shared intimate struggles within a group setting before, how would they know what to do?

Leaders must model a willingness for deep connection, which requires trust, loyalty and authenticity on the part of each leader in order to create an overall atmosphere of intimacy.  

Being a leader is never easy. But even newer leaders can be guided and trained into becoming great leaders as long as they are willing to foster a community of intimacy and trust because they are willing to model authenticity, connection, and genuine love and concern for the people they are leading.

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