When we lead, or watch others lead, there is a profound distinction between merely holding a position of authority and embodying true leadership. At Arrow Leadership, we understand that great leadership is about character, calling, and capability converging to create a transformative impact. 

Let’s explore how we can cultivate leaders of character who excel in their unique callings, equipped with the capability to lead effectively in our organisations and churches.

In the Scriptures, particularly in Paul’s qualifications for deacons and elders, we notice a deliberate emphasis on Christ-like character rather than just skill or ability. This biblical emphasis is significant and deserves careful consideration. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, we encounter individuals who could gather followers but failed to align themselves with God’s will, leading to disqualification (such as King Saul). David’s selection over Saul highlights this – David’s qualities were grounded in being ‘a man after (God’s) own heart’, rather than his outward attributes or charisma (Acts 13:22).  


 Character forms the foundation upon which great leadership can be built. When we see humble, authentic and servant-hearted leaders, the result is an intentional culture of transparency, accountability, trust, and cohesion. When he teaches in our Executive Leaders Program, John Jeffries promotes the acronym ‘DWYSYWD’ which means ‘do what you say you will do’. Consistency in honouring what we say we will do, builds character and trust. By consistently delivering on our commitments, we earn the trust of others and establish ourselves as dependable individuals. It sounds pretty simple, but it’s much harder than it sounds! Character means consistently operating out of who you are in all scenarios (whether people are watching or not).  

The word character is from a Greek word that means ‘to stamp or engrave’. Through repeated action over time, you stamp habits into your life. You engrave your life with a pattern of thinking and behaving. You develop the habits of the heart which become your character. You are what you repeatedly do. 1 

Each of us is called to a specific purpose (Rom 12:6-8, Eph 11: 11-12) – a call or assignment that resonates with our deepest passions, gifts, and convictions. Our calling/assignment gives us the privilege and opportunity to express God’s goodness for the benefit of others. Other leaders may play a pivotal role in helping individuals discern and embrace their unique callings. By providing opportunities for discernment, spiritual direction, and vocational exploration, leaders can help individuals to align their lives with God’s calling.  

While character and calling provide a foundation for great leadership, capability ensures effectiveness and impact. Competence has to do with your set of skills, e.g. vision casting, strategy development, relating to others, communication and conflict management. Great leadership capability can be built by offering tailored training, development programs, and mentoring opportunities that equip leaders with the skills, knowledge, and expertise needed to excel in their roles. Investing in leadership capability empowers individuals to navigate challenges, maximise opportunities, and drive meaningful change within their spheres of influence. 

Great leadership lies at the intersection of character, calling, and capability. When leaders embody integrity, embrace their calling, and are equipped with the skills to lead effectively, they become catalysts for transformation in their communities and beyond. 

As Christians across Australia seeking to build great leadership, it’s essential to recognise the interconnectedness of character, calling, and capability. By prioritising character formation, embracing individual callings, and equipping leaders with the necessary skills and competencies, we can cultivate a new generation of leaders who lead with authenticity, purpose, and impact.  

Kylie Butler

Executive Leaders Program Director and Coaching Director

Kylie joined the staff team in 2021. Kylie has served as CEO, consultant, pastor, leader and coach with many organisations. She served as the Managing Director of Christian Coaching Institute (CCI) prior to CCI combining with Arrow in 2022. Kylie is married to Adam and they have two children, Toby and Lily, and live on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.