For those who choose to participate in a mission trip, it is important to understand how to effectively lead. Sure, there will be some who are front and center leaders and others who seem to play a more supportive role, but in one way or another, the entire team will be leading for Christ.

We all have the ability to lead. For those who are not natural leaders, we can learn! Leadership is an ongoing learning experience. No leader has all the answers or ever achieves perfection, but we can all add new tools to our tool belts and hold ourselves to a high standard!

Here are 7 Things All Leaders Should Do and Be:

1. Leaders have perseverance for delayed rewards.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” –Galatians 6:9

When a leader is working hard to do good, it’s easy to become discouraged when the results we are wanting come slowly, or worst of all, when we never see the impact we have. But as Christ-following leaders, we have to accept that we may never see the growth from the seed we planted, but eventually, it WILL grow and, together, we will reap a harvest!

2. Leaders imitate righteous leaders who have gone before them.

“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.” –Hebrews 13:7

When we are growing as leaders, it’s important to notice those around us who have more experience or who have influenced those around them for good. Not only should we notice, but we should take the positives from each leader and imitate them in our own leadership!

3. Leaders courageously trust in God.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” –Isaiah 41:10

No matter what a Christian leader is going through — even among the doubts, fears, and dark times — we have to courageously trust in the story the Lord is writing in and through our lives.

4. Leaders can withstand judgment.

“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” –James 3:1

Whenever we lead, there will be people who don’t want to follow. The negativity will surround us and the judgment has the potential to swallow us whole. But we have to know this, be on guard, and withstand the judgment and hurt we may face in leadership positions when we are following God’s will.

5. Leaders practice humility.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” –James 4:10

Although leaders are often in the spotlight, they must be humble and let the praise and recognition reflect back to God. It’s really He who should get the glory for all that we do in His name.

6. Leaders become servants.

“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” –Matthew 20:26

In this blog post about the power of servant leadership, we talk about the significant impact leaders have when they take a position of a servant.

7. Leaders commit their visions and goals to the ways of the Lord.

“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this.” –Psalm 37:5

Remember that no matter how unclear the direction you go seems, if you trust in the Lord and commit what you are doing to Him, you will find a straight path to follow and lead others to do the same!