Empowering, gifts-based servant-hearted, catalytic leadership.


Thriving congregations exhibit leadership that encourages, equips and empowers members to optimize their potential as Jesus followers. This means that members know their strengths and giftedness and are motivated to use them for the advancement of God’s kingdom on earth. Catalytic leadership strives to take the attention away from paid staff being the primary doers of ministry to training and enabling all of its members to live as Christ’s ambassadors in the world.

Leadership is modeled as a combination of a servant posture and a gift based (functional) approach. The primary goal of leadership is to equip, empower and mobilize the whole congregation, forming them in the ways of Jesus and teaching them how to use their spiritual gifts while following Jesus, in community. Leadership is not positional but functional and is definitely not centred around an individual and his/her personality, talents and abilities. Catalytic leadership engages the whole body and captures the best in everyone as they pool their gifts together to stimulate engagement and participation in God’s kingdom. And once this culture of shared, servant hearted, gift-based leadership is established, the congregation will experience healthy relationships all around, notwithstanding the reality that there will be instances of conflict that will need to be resolved.

One of the hallmarks of these congregations is their priority for investing in their members. Leaders take time to build into the lives of their members, discipling, mentoring and supporting their growth thus developing more leadership. Consequently, congregations that practice this kind of leadership have the potential to thrive in times of crisis that includes leadership attrition.

Pastors of such congregations see themselves primarily as equippers and enablers and find ways to intentionally invest in this important and fruit yielding exercise. In fact, the primary task of teachers and pastors is to “equip the saints (believers) for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4: 12). And equipping calls for much more than preaching a sermon on Sunday and this important theological principle is mostly observed in the breach.

As you consider growing such a congregation, explore the resources that we have provided for you in the annexures. Once you have led your team through the exercises of discovering their spiritual gifts (Annexure C) and your Working genius (Annexure D), you will be ready to lead your whole congregation through a similar exercise. Begin by taking the assessment test (Annexure E) below.

Annexure E -self assessment

All Congregational Vitality Resources