A major challenge facing those starting new churches is finding an organizing pastor who can fulfill the call. Often the presbytery settles for the person who wants the call rather than the person who has the skills and leadership traits to bring forth a viable new church.
Extraordinary Leaders in Extraordinary Times reports on research on the leadership traits of new church pastors from seven mainline denominations. Edited by Dr. H. Stanley Wood, the contributors detail the leadership qualities of effective new church pastors.
The research findings are presented as Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 leadership competencies. In the first seven years of the new church development Tier 1 competencies are: Catalytic Innovator, Vibrant Faith in God, and Visionary/vision caster. Tier 2 functions are: Empowering leadership, Passion for people, Personal and relational health, Passion for faith sharing and Inspiring preaching and worship. Tier 3 traits are Administrative skills and other categories.
A Catalytic Innovator is "somebody or something that makes a change happen or brings about an event, someone who introduces a new way of doing something."
Surrounding the Catalytic Innovator category are five subcategories: Self-Starter, Risk-Taker, Charismatic Leader, Flexible Adapter and Tenacious Perseverer.
The authors discuss in detail each category and subcategory.
What about the later stages of the new church development (years 8 through 20)? The research found the leadership skills needed change in the later years. In the later years the top Tier 1 trait is Ability to Change Leadership Styles.
This book offers much that can be of practical value to presbyteries as they start new churches. Interview questions, for example, can be formulated based upon the key leadership traits.