Leadership Essentials: Practical Tools for Leading in the Church

Leadership Essentials: Practical Tools for Leading in the Church

by Yvonne Gentile, Carol Cartmill

NOOK Book(eBook)

$13.49 $17.99 Save 25% Current price is $13.49, Original price is $17.99. You Save 25%.
View All Available Formats & Editions

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now
LEND ME® See Details



Where will you find your next team of capable, committed leaders for your congregation?

Churches across the country search for committed people with a heart for ministry, people who are ready to use their gifts in the ministries of the church. Your best potential leaders may already be in your congregation.

This resource, used as a study tool or a desk reference, will help men and women in the church find the tools, direction and inspiration they need to become the best leaders they can be.

Leadership Essentials offers practical skills, worksheets, and practice exercises in areas including:

What Kind of Leader Will You Be?
Making Disciples
Building and Sustaining Teams
Meetings that Work
Developing Vision, Mission, and Values Statements
Strategic Planning
Effective Communication
Managing Conflict
Leading Change and Encouraging Innovation
Developing the Next Generation of Leaders
Keeping It All in Perspective

Leadership Essentials
offers direction distilled from years of experience in church known for its vibrant lay leadership. With tested and real-life techniques from COR's leadership development team, Carol Cartmill and Yvonne Gentile, this book can be used by individuals as a continual study or by topic or by groups who are working together to build their leadership skills.

Carol Cartmill and Yvonne Gentile have created a series of valuable resources that you can use to implement more effective recruitment, training, inspiration and mentoring of lay leadership in your congregation. Their first resource, Serving from the Heart: Finding Your Gifts and Talents for Service, guides participants to find their spiritual gifts as well as their passion and talent for ministry. In the second resource, Leadership from the Heart: Learning to Lead with Love and Skill, lay leaders continue their learning experience in ten areas of servant leadership.

Carol Cartmill is the Director of Leadership Development for The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. She and her team launched the spiritual gifts ministry in 1998. Carol has led workshops relating to equipping ministries on both the local and national level. She resides in Overland Park, Kansas with her husband Jim and their two teenage daughters.

Yvonne Gentile is Divisional Vice President of Merchandising for Helzberg Diamonds, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway company. Since joining the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in 1996, she has used her passion for equipping and developing emerging leaders by serving on the Spiritual Gifts team, the Committee on Lay Leadership, and the
Strategy Team for Leadership Development. Yvonne and her husband Frank
live in Overland Park, KS.

What people are saying about Serving from the Heart?

Discovering one’s spiritual gifts is a liberating experience. Serving from the Heart is an instrument of liberation. The creative, gifted folks at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection developed a very useable resource for congregations who want to release the God-given human resource for creativeministry.” Herb Mather, Center for Christian Stewardship

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426762420
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication date: 10/01/2006
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Yvonne Gentile is the Senior Director of Hospitality and Connections at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas.  Before joining church staff in 2011, Yvonne worked in an executive leadership capacity in retail, where she discovered the power of radical hospitality. She has been part of Resurrection since 1996 and served in numerous volunteer roles at Resurrection until 2011, when she joined the staff team, including leading the Spiritual Gifts Team, the Leadership Development team, and serving on the Committee on Nominations. She has led workshops and teaching events nationally on spiritual gifts, leadership development, building exceptional teams, volunteer management best practices, and radical hospitality.  She is co-author of five books: Serving from the Heart: Finding Your Gifts and Talents for ServiceLeadership from the Heart: Learning to Lead with Love & Skill, and Leadership Essentials: Practical Tools for Leading in the Church, and most recently, The Art of Hospitality and The Greeter and Usher Handbook, scheduled for release in Spring 2020.

Carol Cartmill is Executive Director of Adult Discipleship at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. In this role, she applies her passion for equipping people for ministry, practical experience from working in the local church, and an educational background in organizational management and leadership. She launched the spiritual gifts development program at COR in 1998. She and her husband Jim have raised two daughters and reside in Overland Park, Kansas.  Carol is the co-author of Serving from the Heart, Leadership from the Heart, Leadership Essentials, and Serving from the Heart for Youth. She has led workshops relating to equipping ministries on both the local and national level.

Read an Excerpt

Leadership Essentials

Practical Tools for Leading in the Church

By Carol Cartmill, Yvonne Gentile

Abingdon Press

Copyright © 2006 Abingdon Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4267-6242-0


What Kind of Leader Will You Be?

But the Lord said to Samuel, 'DO not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)

I (Yvonne) have experienced the leadership of a number of people over the years: parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers and pastors, and supervisors and mentors in my career. Some of them were wonderful ... and some were not so wonderful. To be fair, I must admit they all had a mix of desirable and undesirable traits. From each one, though, I learned something. I learned the value of gentleness and forgiveness from my mother. One high school teacher challenged me to believe in myself. My favorite aunt taught me that I could disapprove of someone's behavior yet still love the person and treat him or her with respect. Then there were some of the not-so-wonderful lessons. I learned from my hardworking but alcoholic father that harsh words spoken in anger can leave lasting scars, and that I should choose my words carefully. The boss who gave me an opportunity to grow professionally was also a living example of the kind of leadership I did not want to model.

What about the leaders in your life? Think about three leaders or role models you've had over your lifetime. Identify one or two positive traits or skills you have learned from each of them. Which negative traits did they exhibit that you definitely do not want to emulate? Take a moment to record this information here:

Now consider for a moment your own leadership. What values and traits do you desire to model for others? What weaknesses in your leadership skills (it's okay to admit it—we all have them) do you want to overcome, or at least compensate for, so that they don't become the legacy you leave?

Most of us don't spend much time reflecting on this issue, yet doing so can have a lasting impact on our leadership. Have you ever heard the old adage, "If you don't know where you're going, any road will do"? Or what about this one: "You can't lead people to a place where you are not headed yourself"? Those leaders whose leadership traits or skills we don't admire probably did not set out to be poor leadership examples. More likely, they simply didn't put much thought or intention into how they wanted to lead.

Your leadership will be stronger, and your influence more compelling, if you define ahead of time what kind of leader you will be, and then strive to live into that definition. One way to accomplish this is to develop a values statement. This is different from a mission statement, which defines what you will do. A values statement articulates what you believe, what you value, and how you choose to live. Though you won't live into it perfectly, a values statement helps you chart the course you desire to take and serves as a boundary marker, letting you know when you're off track or warning you before you even begin to head in the wrong direction. It draws a plumb line for your life and leadership.

Leadership in the Character of Christ

Christian leadership isn't something to be taken lightly. It's not about power or prestige, fame or fortune. Entering into a leadership role as a Christian is entering into partnership with God. We become God's agents in the world, guiding and directing the people of God as we work together to complete the mission Christ gave the church when he ascended into heaven: "You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8b).

Make no mistake, if you are a Christian, everything you do witnesses about the authenticity of the gospel to those who are not believers. If you are both a Christian and a leader, your attitudes and actions come under even greater scrutiny. People will watch to see if you live and lead according to the beliefs you profess and Christ is counting on you to do so. We are Christ's physical representation in the world today. We are his spokespersons: "We are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us" (2 Corinthians 5:20a).

Your church is counting on you, too. As a leader—in the church and in the community—you are in a position of influence. It is important that you be a positive influence. This doesn't mean that you won't have questions or disagree with your denomination, your pastor, or other leaders in the congregation. To be a positive influence means you treat those disagreements or questions with respect and discretion, not using them as a platform for public criticism. Though you may disagree on details, as a leader in the church, you need to be able to publicly support the essential work of the pastor, the local body, and the denomination.

When Paul wrote to the Colossians, he said: "Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him" (3:17). Paul's message has dual meaning. In ancient times, a person's name was related to his or her character. Paul is instructing the church not only to be witnesses for Christ, but also to live—in word and deed—with the very character of Christ. In fact, in his Letter to the Ephesians, Paul urges all Christians to "be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us" (5:1).

As Christian leaders, being intentional about leading in the name of Christ, in the very character of Christ, is crucial. We can't afford just to "wing it" and hope our leadership honors God almost accidentally. We must decide what kind of leader we will be, put it in writing, and make living it a daily commitment.

Beyond Leadership Styles

You've probably read a number of books on leadership. Each one has its own list of leadership styles: transactional, transformational, authoritative, autocratic, democratic, participative, and so forth. Each of these styles has its own strengths and weaknesses. The best leaders use a combination of styles, depending on the situation and people they are leading.

What we are talking about goes beyond leadership styles to your heart as a leader. Who are you as a person? What fundamental beliefs lie beneath your behavior and your decision processes? What values do you hold as most important to your life? All these factors will play a role in determining your primary leadership style, but they are more far-reaching than your role as a leader; they will impact every facet of your life.

A value is a belief or standard a person regards as integral to how he or she lives. Some of our values may have been with us forever (though perhaps we weren't aware of that fact), while some may rise out of our life experiences. Our values may change, or at least change in priority, over the course of our life. A single value can encompass all areas of life or primarily relate to one segment of life, such as business or family, though it may still impact every area of your life. For instance, if one of your values is integrity, you are going to struggle if you are asked by your boss to skirt the edge of ethics to make a sale. Likewise, you won't be comfortable telling your spouse a little white lie about how much money you spent. If family time is one of your primary values, it may relate primarily to your personal life. But it also will influence your decisions about how much time you commit to leisure pursuits with your friends as well as professional activities outside of normal business hours. Taken together, your values weave a tapestry of who you are at heart.

Developing Your Values Statement

So what are your values? Sometimes it's easier to start with a list and use it to either confirm what you already know or to begin a process of elimination. Below is a list of common values. It is not a complete list, so let it simply spark your creativity. Feel free to add a value that may not be on the list. Circle or make a mark by the five values that seem to appeal most to you:

Communication Community
Concern for others
Continuous improvement
Fun Preservation
Global view
Good will
Hard work
Inner peace
Personal growth
Physical work
Positive attitude
Problem solving
Quality of work
Respect for others
Satisfying others

It's important to recognize that these values are neither good nor evil on their own. It's how we define what each one means to us and how we prioritize them that really matters. I may value prosperity because I want to be rich and have the ability to buy all the "finer things in life" for my own pleasure. You may value prosperity because you want to be able to leave a financial legacy for your family, or fund a charitable foundation, or donate money to your church's missions projects. Our next step is to work on putting your values statement together. Keep in mind that it is helpful to revisit your values statement on a regular basis. As you strive to live into it with intentionality, you may want to revise it, reword it, or rearrange it. The following format is just an example. If you feel creative, let those juices flow! Just make sure you have enough detail in your values statement to make it clear and meaningful.

To get you started, here's my (Yvonne's) values statement:

I Believe:

That God is the Creator of all things; and that his Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross and, on the third day, rose from the grave for the forgiveness of my sin; That God created me for a purpose and has called me to use my gifts of teaching, administration, and leadership in service to the Body of Christ and to the world.

To find happiness, fulfillment, and meaning in life, I will live according to the following values:


I will be a person others find trustworthy. I will speak only those things useful for building others up, and I will keep my word. I will strive to live my life as an example of Christ's love to others.


Though my life has not always been easy, I have been blessed with many gifts and abilities. I have achieved much in life through hard work and the grace of God. I will always remember where I came from, and I will not think more highly of myself than others.


I often find myself in a position of leadership. I will strive to be a leader after the example of Christ—in other words, a servant-leader. I will expend my energy trying to help those I lead to grow personally and achieve their goals.


I will remember that every person I meet is a child of God, and I will treat them with respect, even when we disagree.


I have a true love of learning, and I commit to being a student throughout my life, whether formally or informally. I will use my spiritual gifts of teaching, administration, and leadership to share what I learn to benefit others and to glorify God.

Making It Personal

First, think about the fundamental beliefs that drive or influence everything you do. What are they? Try to keep this section to two or three points:

Now, what are the key values you identified as important to you? List each one, giving a short definition that explains what it means to you. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers here. Each person may approach the same value from a different perspective. These are your personal values, and the definitions will be as unique as you are!

Once you've completed this exercise, you may want to write or type your values statement in a more formal format and keep it somewhere easily accessible so that you can review it regularly.

Questions for Reflection or Discussion

1. If you're in a group study, discuss some of the lessons you've learned from various leaders in your life – both good and bad. How have those lessons influenced your own leadership?

2. What does it mean to lead "in the name (character) of Christ"? What impact will striving to live into that concept have on your leadership?

3. How hard was it to identify and define your values? Why do you think it's important to do so?

4. What difference do you think having a values statement will make in your leadership and your life?


Making Disciples

Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. (Hebrews 13:7)

In chapter 1, we considered who we desire to be as leaders. This is a solid foundation from which to start. Maybe you are familiar with the saying, "We teach what we know, but we reproduce who we are." That is a sobering thought, but with God's grace, we're up for the challenge.

Now we turn our attention to our role in developing others. Here, we will evoke another familiar statement: "Begin with the end in mind." Before you begin the process of developing people for leadership, you must have a clear vision of the leader that, with God's help, you aspire to produce.

Beginning with the end in mind, take a few moments to think about leadership in your church. Jot down a list of the character traits, behaviors, and attributes you believe are important for a church leader:

Now review your list. Place a check mark next to the words or phrases on your list that also are descriptive of a disciple—someone who is earnestly seeking to follow after the example of Jesus' life and teachings.

If you were making a list to describe only a disciple, what would you add?

As you review the second list, do you see anything that is not also important for a leader? Our hope is that what you have created with these two lists is the beginning of a vision of the kind of leaders you hope to produce in your church.

Discipleship Is Integral to Leadership Development

We recognize Matthew 28:19-20 as The Great Commission. We might argue these are the marching orders for our churches:

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, am with you always, to the end of the age.

Let's focus on one aspect of this commission, "make disciples." Churches are called to make disciples. Not all of our discipleship programs and ministries are meant to produce church leaders, but all of our church leaders need to be, first and foremost, disciples.

Why is this so important? Let me (Carol) share from personal experience ... and pain. I have witnessed firsthand the damage that can be done when church leaders are not following in the footsteps of Christ. I have observed the impact to ministries and to people. Ministries led by such leaders have quickly lost mission focus or have ceased to function in harmony with the rest of the church. People serving under such leaders, or being served by the ministries led by such leaders, have been wounded when they no longer experienced Christ-like love, mercy, and grace. Paul speaks to this in his first letter to the church at Corinth when he writes:

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging symbol. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-2)

Leadership without the proper care and consideration of others, which are the marks of a disciple of Christ, is empty. Remember, in addition to living into the Great Commission, we are also called to follow the Great Commandment:

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength ... you shall love your neighbor as yourself. (Mark 12:30-31a)


Excerpted from Leadership Essentials by Carol Cartmill, Yvonne Gentile. Copyright © 2006 Abingdon Press. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


1. What Kind of Leader Will You Be?,
2. Making Disciples,
3. Building and Sustaining Teams,
4. Meetings that Work,
5. Developing Vision, Mission, and Values Statements,
6. Strategic Planning,
7. Effective Communication,
8. Managing Conflict,
9. Leading Change and Encouraging Innovation,
10. Developing the Next Generation of Leaders,
11. Keeping It All in Perspective,
Ministry Planning Worksheet,
Agenda (Template),
Group Openers or Icebreakers,
Ministry Team Mission Statement Worksheet,
About Team Covenants,
Team Covenant Worksheet,
Vision Statement Writing Tool,
Personal Mission Statement Worksheet,
Creating a Values Statement: Sample,
Ministry Values Statement Worksheet,
Strategic Planning Templates,
Strategic Planning Update Form,
Communicating to Inspire,
Planning an Interpersonal Conflict Resolution Session,
Leading Through Transition,
Ministry Position Description,
Pre-Event Coaching Outline,
Event Observation Checklist,
Post-Event Coaching Session Outline,

Customer Reviews