By Dr. Nathan Millican

If you are going to lead the church, whether it is in a new ministry initiative (e.g. plant a church, new evangelistic emphasis), hiring a new staff person, contemplating the pros and cons of a name change, etc., then the people you serve better trust you. Trust is crucial for influence and credibility.

Oren Harari in The Powell Principles: 24 Lessons from Colin Powell, a Legendary Leader shares a good word on establishing trust that is essential for leaders to learn. People are inclined to trust those who…

  • Are competent – individuals who have relevant knowledge and experience and can keep the organization whole and healthy.
  • Have character – people who stand for something (a value, an ideal, a cause, a mission).
  • Have courage – people who stand for what is right even in the face of adversity.
  • Are loyal – people who are committed to those below, beside and above them.
  • Have confidence – people who have a spirit of certainty and resolve.

These attributes can be distilled into three tactics:

  • Never underestimate the “trust factor.” A leader needs to exemplify many essential traits—those mentioned, as well as selflessness, sacrifice and empathy.
  • Encourage communication. A leader has to be available for his people to communicate with and to do so without fear of retribution, which will build trust.
  • Be a servant leader. A leader needs to lead out in an example of service.