Motivating for Excellence

Leadership Dynamic:

Believe the best in People to acquire the best from people.

A pastor friend relates this about a leader in his church.  Quite frankly the pastor said this leader was about the most stubborn person he had ever met.  He tried every way possible to motivate the leader to make needed changes in the organization he was in charge of.  He could not be moved.  His mind was made up.

The sad part about this was the potential of this leader.  The pastor wanted to keep him.  He was a natural born leader.  People would follow him at the drop of a hat.  But the pastor wanted him to see the potential of the church and what the church could do if he would “get on board” with the program.

I suggested this pastor friend to convinced this leader to attend a conference led by two outstanding American pastors.  I also suggested this pastor attend this meeting with his leader.  And together they could work through this situation.  The meeting lasted a few days.  The results were miraculous. This leader became so excited about the growth potential of his church.  It was amazing.  Under his leadership the church was able to move forward and the pastor was overwhelmed with the results.  The most unlikely person can be motivated when you touch the right buttons.

There are others in the church who are exciting to be around.  They are easily motivated.  Internal motivation anticipates possibilities.  The person motivated from within believes success can be achieved.  They can be counted on to get the job done.  Every church needs a few of these individuals!

External motivation means there are outside forces for people who motivate individuals.  God can use pastors, staff members, lay leadership, and even events to bring about motivation.  Motivation is internal and external.  For example, God uses the proclamation of the Word to move people to make a decision.  This is motivation!  Here are some ways to motivate leaders and lead them toward excellence.


Motivate by example.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the great example.  His caring approach, reaching spirit, and loving compassion for people are an example for all believers.  He was willing to do whatever God wanted in order to redeem mankind.  He was willing to pay the ultimate price for the sins of man.  Jesus said that when things are done for the very least, they have been done for Him.  If church leaders want workers to be involved in visitation, then they themselves must be involved.  If a teacher wants class members to participate in outreach and witnessing activities, then that teacher must be involved in these things.  Developing a loving, caring, and compassionate spirit among others requires the one leading to be loving, caring, and compassionate. No one will motivate anyone to do anything if they are not the person they want others to be.

A pastor seeking to lead his people In a particular direction should never ask people to do anything he is not willing to do.  Don’t do like the pastor who said, “Don’t do as I do but do as I say.”  Let’s say, the church is conducting a fund-raising project for a new building.  Church members are asked to give a tithe above the tithe.  When people are asked to give sacrificially for community projects, their leaders must do the same.  You do not motivate anyone part from example.


Many leaders feel ineffective in what they do.  This is a competency problem.  A lack of competency among workers is a major problem in many churches.  It is brought about by untrained or underdeveloped leaders, who lack competency skills.  Leaders can motivate others by helping them to become competent in their work.

Competent workers are influential, consistent, trustworthy, and effective.  They are workers who stay on the job.  In conferences I have conducted church leaders have complained about their workers.  Many of their workers appear to be poor leaders.  Here are examples: (1) Nonparticipation in planning meetings. (2) Never see the need to be at outreach projects. (3) Spend their time complaining and faultfinding.  These workers, regardless of all else, are incompetent.  Christ gave His best.  The lease we can do is to give our best.  There should never be a place for shoddy work and lackluster commitment.  Leaders need to realize that providing training opportunities will develop worker skills.  The end result is that incompetent workers will become competent workers.  Their development and maturity begin to show up in their personal lives and ministry.