Reflections on Leadership Lessons


Today, welcomes guest writer, Cris Oliviera. Cris is a Resident Minister in the Cross Church School of Ministry serving in the Missions Ministry, Springdale Campus. She is from Fagundes, Brazil and studied at Paraiba State University Brazil.

Since I surrendered my life to Jesus 16 years ago, I have been serving in my church. Five years later, I had my first leadership opportunity to lead a children’ s ministry and then other opportunities that were arising in my walk with Jesus. However, leadership was still something incomprehensible to me. When I went to Malawi in 2014 on a mission trip, for the first time I could understand God’s calling me to ministry. Yes, I was already serving in my church, I was already leading. What else God was planning?

After praying for five years, I decided to come to the Cross Church School of Ministry to learn and grow. The decision I made gave me the great opportunity to get to know great leaders in which each of them have a very particular way of leading people in their ministry.

Reading books about leadership and working in different projects during the year opened my eyes to understand things like:

  • Ministry is not about me, but about God and his people. The ones He called me to lead and serve.
  • To be a leader does not mean perfection.
  • Yes, it’s possible to have a healthy life in ministry. You just have to balance your personal life and work.
  • Sometimes God changes our calling and leads us to something totally new and challenging.

When I think about leaders today, two categories come to my mind: First, the leaders who have been leading, challenging and supporting small ministries. What an honor to serve each of them closely. I think about women in a position of leadership. Leading other women to a better relationship with God, walking with them through dark moments, family issues, traumas, diseases, fears… What a privilege of serving and helping them to let God heal their lives.

The second category would be the leaders who lead big churches like Cross Church. What a huge responsibility! This kind of leader has all my respect and admiration. Dr. Nick Floyd and Dr. Jeff Crawford have been teaching me and all the School of Ministry students that leadership is possible and we can do that with excellence when we humble ourselves before the presence of God.

I cannot forget to mention my mentor, Doug Sarver, a great guy who has surrendered his life to ministry for many years and has been travelling around the world many times during the year to share the gospel, teach, plant and support churches. No matter the distance he is there leading a team, whether young or old, he is always challenging them to fulfill what is in the scriptures “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15b

According to John Stott, “Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.” No matter the reason or the season of life and ministry, to be a good leader I first have to be a great follower led by God and his journey to my life and also be willing to serve the ones Christ has entrusted me with their lives. I just have to remember, all the sacrifice made on that cross by Jesus, nothing could be more humbling than Christ dying and paying the price of my sin when He was perfect God.