8 Traits of Breakout Church Leaders

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Fantastic excerpt from an amazing book I’m currently reading called Breakout Churches by Thom Rainer. If you want to see breakout n your church, you should really check this book out. Here’s the synopsis: “This is the story of thirteen churches and the leaders who moved them from stagnancy to growth and from mediocrity to greatness. Drawing on one of the most comprehensive studies ever on the church, this book reveals the process of becoming a “breakout” church and the factors that lead to this spiritual metamorphosis. Eighty percent of the approximately 400,000 churches in the United States are either declining or at a plateau. Is there hope for the American church? Breakout Churches offers a resounding “yes!” and offers specific examples and principles to help you and your church become more effective.”

This list is the result of an intense study of hundreds of churches. These eight characteristics are common among the leaders of churches that experienced a tangible breakthrough of ministry, influence and attendance. Every pastor would do well to pay attention to these areas:

  1. Extreme biblical faithfulness. They not only give mental assent to key doctrinal truths, but they also practice these beliefs in their preaching, teaching, leadership, and ministry.
  2. Longevity. Breakout leaders have an average tenure at their churches of 21.6 years, compared to the national average of 3.6 years. The issue of long tenure is critical, because much of the transition to greatness is a long-term process.
  3. Confident humility. They have a high level of confidence but no appearance of arrogance or haughtiness.
  4. Accepting Responsibility. Where other church leaders were quick to place blame on people and circumstances, breakout leaders accepted the responsibility for their ministry and did not blame others when things did not go well.
  5. Unconditional love for the congregants they serve. While other church leaders  are quick to describe the many problem people in their churches, breakout church leaders love their flock unconditionally.
  6. Persistence. They never consider a setback a failure. They continually resist the temptation to quit or switch churches.
  7. Outward Focus. The visions cast by breakout leaders always include an incredible passion for reaching the lost through evangelism.
  8. Legacy.  Breakout leaders are concerned about their ministries well beyond their own tenure or even lifetime, preparing for the next generation of church leadership. The breakout leader would say things like this, “I pray that God will allow me to look at this church from heaven fifty years from now and find out that the fruit of what we did is lasting.”

These eight traits have little to do with skill, personality, gifting, or charisma. Any church leader can embrace these principles and see the breakout that God intends for your congregation!e