I have compiled this list of suggestions for those looking to find leaders among their congregations and relationships.  I know you have heard about the 3 C’s (Character, Competence, and Chemistry) when you are forming teams or bringing someone on staff, but these are just some other thoughts I have.  Hope you find them helpful.


Criteria for Leadership Selection (Suggestions)

  • Look for people with the gift of influence.  Who gathers a crowd?  To whom do people turn for conversations, opinions, or consultations, either formally or informally?
  • Notice people with connections in the Church and in the community/world. 
  • Spiritual gifts should be noticeable in their lives.  Do a spiritual gift assessment.
  • Who has a servant’s heart?  Look for people who do not have to be the “out front” people in order to serve. 
  • Look for people who are humble and respect others.
  • In Acts, they sought people who were “of good report, filled with the Holy Spirit, and wisdom.”
  • Positive people are priceless.  Attitude & disposition are indispensible.
  • Make a list of people who know how to disagree constructively.
  • Who are “faithful?”  On whom can you depend?  Who “shows up”?
  • Select people who know how to celebrate with others.
  • Good leaders listen.
  • Good leaders remember what it’s like to be a follower.
  • People who ask good questions and listen for good answers make good leaders.
  • Discipline is a valuable commodity.
  • Passion about the vision and patience with others are absolutely vital characteristics.  The mark of a good leader is to help others get on board and get to the purpose together.
  • Leaders should be “winsome”.
  • A good leader is a person who knows how to share the load and the spotlight.
  • Who is an encourager?
  • Good leaders know how to prioritize.
  • In my mind, three necessary things are required to have a good leader:  Gifts (the right ones for the tasks in mind), Passion (this is the fuel that feeds the fire in terms of their ministries), and Willingness/Commitment (necessary to persevere through all the challenges and changes).  Remove either of these and it diminishes the fruitfulness of the person’s ministry in the same way that removing a leg from a 3-legged stool will make it very difficult to use effectively.

An article I found interesting.  I think it will provide insight and raise questions for you as you read it and share it with others.  It has to do with “Rabbit Churches” (and I would add ministries), and “Elephant Churches”.


7 Responses to Rabbit Churches for Established Churches

From the books:

The Rabbit and the Elephant: Why Small is the New Big for Today’s Church by Tony and Felicity Dale, and George Barna

And, Raising Rabbits, Not Elephants, by Tony Webb

Elephant Church: Large, Complex, Programs, Budgets, Buildings, Staff, Focus on meeting many needs in many ways, Hard to change, Built for the long haul, Readily visible in a community, What people expect.

Rabbit Church: Small, Intimate, Simple, Avoids programs, Little or no budget, Focus on meeting needs

with a limited number of simple, reproducible approaches, Reproducible, Flexible, Built for shorter times, Not readily visible in a community, NOT what people think of when they think of “church.”


Here are the statistics:

You can read the post online here:


A few years ago, Barna Books put out a book titled The Rabbit and the Elephant: Why Small Is the New Big for Today’s Church.

- See more at:



Carey Nieuwhof has an innovative ministry and a blog site that I enjoy reading.  While you will not want to do everything he suggests because your context is different, I think you will find some refreshing ideas and information.  You can type the link into your browser or explore some of the links below.  (Control and right click on the highlighted words in the introduction)


About Me

My name is Carey Nieuwhof. I’m a husband, a dad to two sons and a daughter-in-law, and the pastor of Connexus Churchnorth of Toronto Canada.

I’m also incredibly passionate about helping leaders lead like never before. That’s why I write this blogwrite books and host a leadership podcast.

As kid, I decided I wanted to be a lawyer. I’m not sure what needs to be wrong with a kid to want to be a lawyer, but that’s my story. I got distracted along the way. At 16 I walked into a local radio station and asked them to hire me, and to my surprise, they did. For the next 8 years radio was one of my part time jobs in my then hometown of Midland Ontario and later in Toronto.  I got into the law school of my dreams only to have two amazing things happen. I met the most amazing woman I’ve ever met in my first year of law school. We got married before we graduated. By far…she’s the best thing to come out of law school for me!

But the second thing that happened was I experienced a call to ministry. I’d been a Christian since I was a young teenager, but I went through a crisis of faith in my late teens and early twenties. Before attending law school, I recommitted my life to Jesus. At the time, I simple thought it would mean I practiced law as a Christian (yes…that is possible).

Honestly, the call confused me as much as it compelled me. I spent a few years trying to figure out what it meant, praying through it and consulting wise people I knew. I finished law and out of obedience, enrolled in seminary.

In 1995 as I was wrapping up seminary, I started ministry as a student pastor among three little mainline churches an hour north of Toronto. When I started, one of the churches had an average attendance of 6 (not making that up). Much to my surprise (I never thought I’d stay this long), I had discovered a community I’m still a part of almost 20 years later.

Our church has changed everything in those two decades…the music, the buildings, our governance, our mission, our vision….everything, really. We even left our denomination and now are a multisite church with two locations reaching almost 1000 each weekend. And Connexus is a North Point Strategic Partner. I love our team and love the mission we’re on together.  Along the way, I developed a passion for helping other leaders lead like never before. That’s evolved into what you see here…and I hope it helps you and your team in some meaningful way.

Thanks so much for joining the conversation.

If you want more, just visit my Start Here page or take any of these simple steps:

So appreciate you!

- Carey