A TULIP for Leaders

Written by Burt Braunius /
April 15, 2014

Spring is officially here, at least according to the calendar. In West Michigan, the sure sign of Spring is tulips popping up. We’re getting close!With respect for the five points of Calvinism, allow me to suggest a TULIP for leaders.


Leaders seek to be Christ-like. Their words and actions are “trustworthy and true.” Stephen Covey points out that “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”


Leaders have a quiet humility that focuses attention on others rather than on self. Leaders work with and through their followers; attention to self takes away from expressions of support for others, limiting their sense of affirmation and, consequently, even their productivity.


Leaders realize the need to limit the number and nature of their relationships. They know that is necessary to on occasion say “no.” While Christian leaders must have a caring Christ-like attitude toward everyone, they limit the amount of time they spend with those who emotionally drain them, those who cause them anxiety or defensiveness. They realize that those who are unable to say “no” to people and projects that are outside their vision and mission are likely to be used, abused, distracted, or overwhelmed.


Leaders are “idea” people who have visions for what can be. They influence others. They move projects forward through their words and actions. They often initiate in key areas such as mission, style, and strategy (George Hunter III, The Apostolic Congregation, p.110).


Leaders bring a positive perspective to everything they do. The composer Joseph Haydn exuded, “Since God has given me a cheerful heart, He will forgive me for serving Him cheerfully.” Spring is a season of good cheer. There is freshness in the air and new life all around. Leaders live positively, not allowing the negativism of others to influence or control their emotions. They understand that one’s emotions reflect the ways in which s/he interprets reality. While not being free from doubt and discouragement, Christian leaders intentionally reflect new life in Christ, peace that passes all understanding, and the joy of the risen Lord.

The pictures below are to recognize two TULIP-style leaders. They are Commissioned Pastor candidates with training plans developed by Church Leadership Center. First, Chris Hall. Chris is the church planter of Elevation Church, Wyoming MI. He is shown telling about the first baptisms in this new congregation. Next, Troy Stansberry. Troy is Director of Music, Worship, and Outreach at Rosewood Church, Jenison, MI. He is pictured with his mentor and lead pastor, Jim Goldschmeding.

Church Leadership Center provides a contextualized approach to leadership development by working in partnership with pastors, churches, and other ministry groups to prepare congregational leaders for advanced levels of service. We do this by means of assessment interviews and reports; personalized training plans, classes, and certification so that participants are able to increase their effectiveness in all areas of church life. Click here for more information. To view videos about Commissioned Pastors and those who support them, click here. To read previous blogs, click here.

Please forward this email to a lay leader or church staff member who may benefit from information about leadership development and Church Leadership Center.To contribute financially to CLC or to learn about options for leadership development in your church, reply to this email.

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