This just in: After an evidence-based study, Google has identified a surprising trait of the ideal leader. Business Insider summarizes the findings:
The prototypical leader is a hero: gives the rousing speech, inspires the troops, and shows up at the last minute to save the day. At least that’s how leaders are portrayed. But that’s not at all what Google discovered as their most important qualities. At Google, they’re obsessive about looking at data to determine what makes employees successful, and what they found in the numbers was surprising. The most important character trait of a leader is one that you’re more likely to associate with a dull person than a dynamic leader: predictability. The more predictable you are, day after day, the better.
Score another point for “ordinary.” At White Horse Inn, we’ve been focusing on the importance of ordinary, sustainable, faithful discipleship and disciple-making in the body of Christ. In fact, we dedicated a recent White Horse Inn radio series to the topic. In October, Zondervan will release my book, Ordinary: Sustainable Discipleship in a Radical and Restless World.
Church leaders may be as surprised as anyone by Google’s findings. The evangelical world is the product of successive waves of the extraordinary-latest-and-greatest movements. Just compare the ideal characteristics of successful pastors today with those in the pastoral epistles (especially 1 Tim 3:1-13; 4:6-5:25; 2 Tim 2:14-4:5; Titus 1:5-2:15). The apostle’s list is closer to the “predictability” that Google discovered in high-quality leadership.
And what’s true for pastors is true for the rest of Christ’s body. We’re burned out on calls to radically “reboot” our lives and churches—to keep up with the latest spiritual fad or be left behind.
A faithful pastor preaches the Word, administers the sacraments, and looks after the flock with the elders. Faithful believers are also content with this ordinary ministry. It may not be as exciting as joining the latest bandwagon, but Jesus pledges his presence in saving grace to this ordinary church and its ordinary disciples.