How to Develop Leadership pt.4

According to Dr. Howard Hendricks, developing leadership begins by identifying those who have the core characteristics of leadership (though they need not necessarily be well-developed). We have previously discussed finding those who are committed, competent, and communicative. The final necessary characteristic, which we will cover today is creativity. 

Dr. Hendricks shares:

Our motto is, “I came, I saw, I concur.” Church people’s favorite hymn is “We Shall not be Moved.” You walk into church on a Sunday morning worship service, and you see the pattern. Can’t we think of one new thing?

This is why I love Walt Disney. He is one of my heroes. He started out as a kid in a typical kind of school and they wanted him to draw a flower. So he draws a flower and has a picture of a face on it. His teacher said, “Walter, flowers don’t have faces.” To this he said, “Mine do.”

It is amazing how we torpedo kids and adults who are very creative, well, were creative until they became Christians. So I think to myself, “Is there a way around this type of thing?” There are three things I look for:


These are people who are able to change. Knowing that we live in a society of change, this characteristic is not an option. Besides, knowing that we are predestined to be conformed into the image of Christ, how much change do you think you should be ready to accept?

Fresh Approach

Here I am talking about people who are original in terms of their ideas. They are not copy cats. That is why I wrote my book, Color Outside the Lines. To teach Christians how to think creatively in their lives.


These individuals have the ability to glean ideas from others. They understand the importance of networking and asking questions. They develop a holy dissatisfaction and they know where to go for help.

Commitment, competence, communication, and creativity are four basic characteristics that I seek to build into an individual. They need to understand what it takes to be truly committed as a follower of Jesus Christ and a competent servant of the Savior. They learn what it means to be communicative and what it means to be creative.

Developing leaders begins by finding individuals who exhibit potential and desire to grow in these four characteristics.

  • Search for someone who is longing to commit to something. Perhaps this is a tall order in our current culture, but they are there. It is that one who typically seems to come, even when it is inconvenient or awkward. They show up.
  • Search for the one who seems to always come through. They may not be perfect, but they just to do what they do well. That is fertile ground for growth in competence.
  • Who is the life of the party or the Facebook connector? That’s a natural communicator (given that they have some ability in the previous areas as well).
  • Finally, who are those in your ministry that just won’t settle for “how things are done?”  They seem to always have a plan in their back pocket or something “they have been wanting to try.” They’re on the lookout for new and great ideas and ways to do things. They are naturally creative. They want a chance to use that creativity and just might blossom in competence, communication, and commitment when you give them that chance.

Perhaps you also see a deficiency in yourself with one of these areas. Start praying for opportunities to grow in just one of the areas. The Lord rarely leaves us where we are and even more rarely does so when we ask to grow. So while you are at it, you should probably also pray for the courage to step-up when those opportunities present themselves. The church desperately needs committed leaders who competently seek to creatively serve and communicate.

This series is taken from a video/workbook resource called The Dynamics of Leadership by Howard Hendricks. To order the program in its entirety, be sure to visit our Hendricks Center Store.


About the Contributors

Kymberli Cook

Kymberli Cook is the Assistant Director of the Hendricks Center, overseeing the workflow of the department, online content creation, Center events, and serving as Giftedness Coach and Table Podcast Host. She is also a doctoral student in Theological Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, pursuing research connected to unique individuality, the image of God, and providence. When she is not reading for work or school, she enjoys coffee, cooking, and spending time outdoors with her husband and daughters.