Home Children's Ministry Leaders Articles for Children's Ministry Leaders What KidMin Can Learn From Great Leaders in History

What KidMin Can Learn From Great Leaders in History

(Photo: Annette Shaff / Shutterstock.com)

Time Life magazine recently listed Great Leaders Through History.  Though you or I may not agree with some of these leaders in certain areas of thought, there is much we can learn from them about leadership.  They are listed below with one of the things I believe they can teach us about leading in Children’s Ministry.

Gandhi, Pioneer of Nonviolent Protest  

Learn to use respect to win people over, instead of using power to bend people to your will.  As a leader, it is a very simple matter to leverage on your position or your authority to coerce people to bend to your will.  However, it is your true strength as a leader that can persuade and convince people to follow you with their hearts. 

Vince Lombardi, Legendary Coach

You cannot bypass hard work.  Most people would like  to convince you otherwise but the truth is, there is none other.  Show your team the value of hard work by example; and as you lead by hard work, your team will follow.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President  

Great leaders are visionaries.  They have an instinct for the future, a course to steer, a port to seek. Through their capacity for persuasion, they win the consent of their people and call forth inner resources.

Steve Jobs, Apple
Be innovative.  If you want to maintain your leadership, you have to create new ideas, new initiatives, all in the spirit of moving your organizational mission forward. 

Nelson Mandela, Prisoner turned President of South Africa
Remember not everyone will support your vision.  No matter how ideal your vision is, the fact is that a vision means change for people.  Not everyone wants to change because change is uncomfortable.  For some, change is outright painful.  Don’t expect everyone around you to rally behind you.  Expect some people to stand against you. 

  
Golda Meir, Prime Minister Israel

Make complex issues appear simple and express your views in plain but emotional terms.  Even when she spoke to an audience of thousands, it could sound as though she was speaking in her living room.”

Dr. M.L King, Civil Rights Leader

Engage the heart.  While logic may compel the mind, stories and metaphors move the heart.  This is the difference between offering information and inspiration.

Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister


Accumulate experience.  One may say that success is the result of good judgement, that good judgement is the result of experience and that experience is often the result of bad judgement.

Douglas MacArthur, U.S. General

Have confidence derived from conviction.  Quote – “Duty, Honor, Country – those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.  They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.”

Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady and Social Reformer

Be optimistic.  Optimism is a key to leadership and Roosevelt was a great optimist.

Captain Kirk, USS Enterprise

Take action.  When faced between doing nothing, and taking action, Kirk always chose the latter.  When necessary he would leap in before looking and improvise along the way, adjusting his actions as necessary.

Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul and Humanitarian

Be a great listener.  As an interactive leader, Oprah is deeply aware of the feelings and emotions of those around her.

What other leaders in history have you learned from?  Would enjoy seeing your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Dale Hudson has been serving in children's ministry for over 30 years. He is an author, speaker and ministry leader.  He is the founder and director of Building Children's Ministry. BCM helps churches build strong leaders, teams and children's ministries.  (www.buildingchildrensministry.com)