The 4 ‘C’s and The Toughest Person to Manage


Yesterday I had the privilege of hearing Bill Hybels share 40 years worth of wisdom on leadership. He said many helpful things, but two in particular struck me.

First, he talked about the 4 ‘C’s you need to look for in a leader. They are:

  1. Character – ungodly leaders are wrecking balls . . . keep them away from anything you value!
  2. Competence – being godly and faithful isn’t enough; they have to have a gift in the area you want them to lead
  3. Chemistry – are they able to get on well with others? This is related to character but a little different. You could have a godly person who struggles to relate to others – that person might be a good team member, but not a good leader.
  4. Culture – does this person understand the cultural values of your church. This is more than ‘sound doctrine.’ For example if you have a particular way of doing your youth ministry, or a worship style, and somebody simply doesn’t buy into it they won’t make a good leader. As above they may be a good team player, and hopefully they may come to understand and value the culture, but until they do they shouldn’t take significant leadership.

Second, Bill talked about how to lead the most difficult person. Who’s that I hear you ask? That would be you! Bill suggests that the greatest challenge for most leaders is learning how to lead themselves. Leaders constantly need to evaluate where to spend their energy and time, and how to keep themselves replenished. Leaders who are physically, emotionally, relationally, spiritually empty are dangerous to themselves and anyone near them. So we need to do two things:

  1. Identify the warning signs. If you’re near empty do you get irritable, depressed, do you slob on the couch, snap at the kids, over-eat, under-eat, drink, or struggle to sleep? Identify, then act.
  2. Leaders need to identify not just the warning signs but their sources of replenishment. It may be exercise, bird-watching, reading, coffee-drinking, a long walk in the hills or by water, time with grand kids. What is it that fills up the tanks – and ink it in (not pencil it in) to your diary. It’s good for you, and good for the people near you. I’d suggest this is true not just for leaders, but for all of us.

If you do lead a team, why not sit them down for an hour and discuss ‘warning signs’ and ‘sources of replenishment’ – then do something about it!



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