Finding Your Voice For Your Congregation

Having looked previously at establishing a Core Team and knowing your limits, this final key lesson I’ve learned as a new Congregation Leader revolves around finding your voice. Looking back I think those three lessons have been the biggest and are ones that have encompassed several others within them. I hope they’ve been helpful.

This last lesson is particularly tailored to those who are fresh into leadership in the context of a congregation. My experience of finding my voice, but also using it appropriately, was developed against the backdrop of the congregation, the team and the elders I serve with. So, this final lesson will be divided into three parts again, with each article focusing on those backdrops mentioned.

Here’s what I learned as I found my voice.

Finding Your Voice For Your Congregation

I’ve found that I’ve needed to develop my voice for the congregation I help shepherd in three primary ways.


Preaching is one of my key strengths and so I invest in it greatly. It’s also one of the ways my congregation receives the most directive input from me. When you think about it, where else would you get 30 minutes of specific biblical teaching and spiritual input from one of your leaders? As I’m employed in the marketplace, I naturally can only be that Sunday-to-Sunday leader (apart from the odd one to one pastoral catch up, which I’ll mention below). So I view my sermons as a precious gift and my voice in preaching as a vital, but limited, catalyst for my leadership of our congregation. Therefore, I seek to ensure my voice in preaching is used in 2 foundational ways: building up and biblical.

I want to use my voice in preaching to encourage the flock, spurring them on in faith and works, inspiring them with truth, and building them together into a godly functioning body. I also want to use my voice in preaching to establish their minds and hearts in Scriptural revelation, growing in the knowledge of Christ and having that understanding transform them by the Holy Spirit.

In preaching, I’ve learnt that my voice has grown in influence within the congregation and is received as one that is honoured and respected, but most importantly, one that people understand is for them and helping them; which naturally helps them to receive the Word, and you, much more willingly.

As a reflection, think about how your preaching is received? Gladly or reluctantly? Consider if your people really know you care for their lives by how you preach?


Another highly influential activity a leader’s voice is found is in hosting. Although a person’s personality should come out in their preaching, it is ultimately tied to the Word of God and what the Lord is saying. When hosting, while being obedient to the Spirit’s voice, there is perhaps more space to express your own personality. I’ve found this to be a great opportunity to connect with our congregation and to further instil in them that I love them and am for them. My experience in hosting has helped create opportunities to ask people to contribute, whether it be reading Scripture, praying or sharing a testimony. It’s also a chance to share what’s stirring you and so expose yourself in such a way that a connection can be created between the people and you. The more I put my vulnerabilities on display (appropriately), the more bonded leadership and the people feel. A sense of togetherness is formed.

More practically, I’ve found it very helpful to fervently encourage people to share. Personally, I don’t “vet” contributions as I want to foster an environment where the host is seen to trust the congregation and the congregation feels entrusted to come up. That changes depending on size and demographic of course. It works for us. Elders and those pastorally responsible are always present to correct if needed, which is never in my time! As you give way to other people’s voices, your voice will carry weight when you do speak. Be the voice that’s known for championing other’s participation.

In addition, as you release people to share, there’s a pastoral weighing of contributions. Yours is the voice that might decide what is an encouragement for the moment that can pass by, or what is something to get hold of and lean into. Taking responsibility to personally grow in our discernment and wisdom for the Spirit’s moving can birth a sense of security among the people. Gently, biblically, and zealously leading the congregation into the presence of God and His dynamic activity will help them feel safe.

In hosting, I’ve learnt that my voice has grown to be a sound of security for the congregation. As I’ve learnt to eagerly encourage contributions, display my rawness, and weigh the Spirit’s activities, my voice is once again heard as one that’s for the people.

Think for yourself, when you host is there a sense of ease or awkwardness? Can you be yourself or do you put on a bit of a mask? Why not be brave and ask two or three people if they feel safe when you host?


Lastly, the third and equally important area I’ve found my voice in is pastoring. I mean pastoring in the general sense of intentionally catching up with people and unpacking faith and life together. As I said, I’m not employed for the church and so my time and energy needs to be carefully utilised so it’s balanced among my work and family.

For me that has looked like a monthly, and at times a weekly, chat with those I see as emerging leaders. As much as I may want to, realistically I can’t meet up and disciple everyone in our congregation. And of course, that’s where your Core Team, but also the congregation generally, participates and is equipped for the work of ministering to one another. So I’ve taken the route of identifying key people with some form of an emerging leadership anointing on them, and am investing my time and energy into them.

In this context my voice developed as I openly unpacked their faith, work, relationships, and life. Doing so helped create an honesty between us and a sense of trust. It opened opportunities to help see where they could serve or engage with the church related to their gifts. The whole time trying to emanate a sense of being for them, supporting and encouraging them.

My intention to gather these handful of people together every so often and see what happens as we worship, pray and sharpen one another with our leadership. But on a one to one level, my voice has been privileged to speak into situations from an Iranian fleeing persecution and separated from his family, to a Nigerian struggling to find work with debt, a South African arriving here with his family due to a call of God, and woman navigating education, marriage and faith. Find your voice for your congregation by speaking with and into the lives of those you lead.

Are there people in your congregation you’re intentionally investing in? Are they listening to your voice and receiving it well?


Next time, I’ll share on how I continued to find my voice with my Core Team.