Administrative management is the most practical form of Christian leadership, and also the most common. For the sake of efficiency, religious groups often need one person to act as the primary planner and decision maker. These leaders have excellent organizational skills, good communication abilities, and a clear vision of the group's purpose and direction, and the knack for fostering trust amongst people working together.
To develop this style of leadership, you need to become familiar with the basics of organizing a group of people.
- Communication: Who talks to whom? If someone has a problem, where do they go? To whom do they report their progress and their successes? For smaller groups, communication is generally quite good, but larger groups may need clearly defined hierarchies to ensure that people know what they need to know. In either case, the manager's responsibility is to facilitate communication among members of the organization.
- Vision: More than any other member of a group, administrative leaders must have a clear vision of the group's purpose and direction. Often, this involves a mission or vision statement -- a brief summary of the organization's core values, objectives, and how it hopes to achieve them. For more information on crafting a mission statement, please see Writing Statements of Faith.
- Goals: From a mission statement, a managing leader creates tangible goals, e.g. "We would like to raise $2000 dollars by the end of the year, and in order to do so, we will take these five steps..." In addition to creating goals, a good leader also learns how to prioritize them, knowing which step to take first in order to best achieve the group's objectives.
- Planning: Leaders of this kind have great planning skills. One of the best way to develop these skills for yourself is to create timelines of events that need to happen for you group to meet their objectives. If you'd like to raise $2000 by the end of this year, when will your fund drive need to begin? By what date do you expect to collect the first $1000? A good leader takes his prioritized goals and crafts a reasonable plan of action in order to keep everything on schedule and running smoothly.
- Delegating:Administrative leaders must know how to best delegate the responsibilities that will lead to achieving the goals of the group. The best leaders know the people they work with very well, and can assign tasks based on strengths, expertise, and experience.
- Problem Solving: Finally, managers are often the best problem solvers in their groups. They have the ability to break seemingly insurmountable obstacles down into the core components by answering the five "W"s:
- What suggests that there's a problem?
- Where is it happening?
- When is it happening?
- With whom is it happening? **Note: Good managers resist the temptation to lay blame on the members of their groups. They are more concerned with fixing the problem than with who is at fault.
- Why is it happening?
After answering the five "W"s, it's often easy to answer one "H" question - how do we fix it?
Administrative leadership is one of the most involved forms of guidance, requiring a great deal of patience, foresight, communication, planning, and the ability to implement ideas to meet goals. As you develop your own Christian leadership style, keeping these concepts in mind will allow you to better serve your religious group or organization.