by the ALLC Core Team

With the exception of Jesus, the perfect leader does NOT exist.  Every leader has his or her own strengths and weaknesses as a leader.  This is one important reason why YWAM highly encourages the concept of “shared leadership”.  While any one person generally fails to represent all the strengths necessary to lead a ministry well in the long-run, a team of people who share various leadership roles and responsibilities can.

4 Vital Leadership Roles

YWAM’s 6-week Leadership Development Course (LDC) emphasizes four vital giftings or roles that should ideally be represented on any ministry team, especially within the leadership team itself.  Those giftings or roles on a leadership team are:

Biblical Examples

It is fascinating to reflect on how God, as the trinity, represents these 4 vital leadership roles so perfectly:

Applying the 4 Roles to Ministry

You may find that the need for each of these roles changes over time as a ministry develops.  For example, it is common for new ministries to be birthed by someone receiving a prophetic word from God.  This may come to someone who has a special prophetic anointing.  It is also common for ministries to be started by leaders who have an apostolic gifting, who have a strong and inspiring vision they communicate to others.  As a ministry gets established it often discovers the need for operational giftings in order to better organize and plan out what the ministry does and how.  And as more team members join the ministry there is naturally a higher need for pastoral care from leadership.

But as the ministry develops and grows it will never outgrow the need for all 4 of these leadership giftings/roles.  If you remove any one of them from the picture, the ministry will eventually begin to decline.  We must continuously hear new and afresh from God (Prophetic).  We must continue to be visionary and inspired to take action (Apostolic).  We must be organized enough to be able to translate vision and strategy into action (Operational).  And we must take care of our team/flock if we intend for the team to remain healthy and intact in the longer run (Pastoral).

It is quite possible for someone to have multiple leadership giftings and thus play multiple leadership roles.  For example, a single leader might be gifted both as an Apostle and as a Prophet.  However, it is very unusual for any one person (or leader) to be strong in all four of the leadership giftings/roles discussed above.  Therefore, as you develop your ministry team, it is extremely helpful to think about these 4 particular roles and who is best suited to hold those roles on your team.



*For more resources from the ALLC on Defining Roles, click here.


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