Rockford Reformed Church Leadership Principles


A. Called By God

God calls leaders and volunteers to serve him for his glory alone. God picks ordinary people to do extraordinary things. He calls you to serve his purposes. We seldom think or feel we are ready to do the work he calls us to do. Serving God exposes our weaknesses and his strengths. We must recognize that God is all-sufficient and all-powerful. Through obedience and prayer, he will provide you with the resources and direction necessary to accomplish his work. 

Your calling as a leader and volunteer includes all four primary roles.
  • Called as a servant leader. The call of God is a call to serve others. Leaders and volunteers learn by being a servant first. They serve because they are motivated by love and humility. They believe that all people have equal importance before God. Jesus is the perfect example of servant leadership. Jesus humbled himself and became a servant of all (John 13:12-15, Matthew 20:26-28).
  • Called as a shepherd leader. The call of God is a call to the heart. Every leader and volunteer is to have a shepherd’s heart. Jesus Christ provides the model of a Good Shepherd (John 10:14). Regardless of their gifts or functions, leaders and volunteers are called to care for the needs of the flock, to feed the flock the Word, and to protect and lead them safely through the perils of a troubled world. The key to shepherding others is to cultivate relationships of influence.
  • Called as a spiritual leader. The call of God is to empower God’s people to center their lives on Christ and grow in relationship with him. Like Christ, the leader and volunteer know that the Word of God is the Truth and that God sanctifies us through his Word (John 17:17). A leader is humble and purposeful, encouraging others to think rightly, biblically, and godly in all matters. A leader prays daily for the spiritual and personal needs of those they lead or serve. The Holy Spirit enables and gives you wisdom to discern true spiritual needs from “felt” needs and to lead others to maturity in their faith (1 Corinthians 2:4-6).
  • Called as a facilitator. The call of God is a call to connect and engage God’s people in worship, fellowship, bible study, prayer, and service opportunities. Leaders  and volunteers help to assimilate guests and new members into groups. They keep God’s people consistently and regularly apprised of information, resources, and opportunities that help to shape their faith and to serve others. They invite feedback from those they serve and from other leaders to best meet the needs of God’s people. They initiate and guide conversations and activities to be rich, balanced, and focused on the Word of God. They provide a safe environment where all can participate without fearing the response of others. A good facilitator is a good partner to individuals, families, other ministry programs, and to the community.

B. Perseverance in the Call to Leadership and Serving Others

The call of God as a leader and volunteer is the most honorable responsibility anyone could be given; its fruits and rewards are eternal (Matthew 19:29). But leadership and serving others is not easy. It is hard work and demands attention to the details. It does not come without trials. God uses trials and challenges to develop your faith and grow in righteousness through his sanctification. This is our spiritual growth, and the faithful, diligent, cheerful, and prayerful leader is the one who perseveres regardless of the circumstance (Romans 5:3-5). 

When serving becomes difficult, don’t let feelings of discouragement lead you to think your only option is to quit. Talk to the program director, pastor, or an elder to let them know about your specific situation. They will pray for you and encourage you. God will give you the strength and power to press on. God is glorified when He performs great works through you.

C. Recognizing Potential Leaders and Volunteers

  • Identifying potential leaders and volunteers. Potential leaders and volunteers are not “proven”, “perfect”, or “ready” leaders. They have Christ’s love and concern for all people and in all circumstances. They are teachable and open to suggestions. They are excellent followers and show interest and passion for the church. They have a humble desire to always be improving as a person, displaying good character and integrity. People skills are important, but they don’t have to be the life of the party. The key is that they desire a personal relationship with Christ and want others to desire the same.
  • Praying before calling leaders and volunteers. Prayer must precede choosing a church worker or Christian leader as God calls the person for His work (Jeremiah 23:21-22). Before Jesus chose his disciples, he spent the whole night in prayer (Luke 6:12). Jesus also told his disciples to pray earnestly for workers (Matthew 9:37-38). Committed, faithful and regular prayer for the identifying and calling of leaders brings increased spiritual power to ministry. All leadership, missions and ministry teams should be in continuous prayer for God’s workers throughout the year and not just when needs arise.
  • Referring potential leaders and volunteers. Look for potential leaders as you interact and serve with others. Anyone may recommend a leader or volunteer to the pastor, staff, or team leader. Keep the referral and referral process in prayer.
  • Presenting the ministry opportunity as a calling. The pastor, staff person, or team leader will pray and approach the potential leader or volunteer. They will help to discern and affirm the person’s gifts and present the opportunity to serve as God’s calling.