The Virtues of a Missional Leader

On the EquipCast, I spend a lot of time emphasizing the leadership skills of a missionary disciple. But this week, we spoke to Fr. Kizito, a missionary from Nigeria to our own diocese, and he reminded us that one basic skill of a missionary leader is the ability to grow in virtue.

How do I make disciples? By first being a disciple. 

So let us sit at the feet of one of Jesus’s own ministers and learn about the virtues he believes are key to mission:

  1. Faith – The conviction that propels everything I do, the trust that this is not my work but Jesus’s, and the courage to go in the direction that God is asking
  2. Discernment – The ability to see what God is doing right now in the community and to respond in the way the He is asking
  3. Patience – The ability to submit every day to God’s will, and to persevere in prayer
  4. Humility – The demeanor to admit that “I don’t have all the answers and am still seeking”
  5. Love – The demeanor to love people without expectations and to love their culture and way of life
  6. Prudence – The ability to manage the human and financial resources around you
  7. Presence – The ability to give a witness of reassurance and stability

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Fr. Jeff Lorig – Pastor at St. Joan of Arc and St. Thomas More


Fr. Kizito Okhuoya – Pastor at St. Wenceslaus in Verdigre, St. William in Niobrara, and St. Andrew in Bloomfield


The Way of Goodness and Holiness: A Spirituality for Pastoral Ministers by Richard Gula

How do ministers, whether lay or ordained, form their spiritual life? What practices do they need to foster in order to become good and to be holy in their service? To answer these questions, Richard Gula invites readers to think along with him about the kind of minister they want to be: If we don’t know where we want to go,” he writes, “we will easily end up somewhere else.” Gula then presents a variety of virtues. Including gratitude, self-care, humor, and courage, and explains how developing these qualities is essential for a minister’s moral and spiritual life. By grounding a spirituality for pastoral ministry in the virtues, Gula provides a way for ministers to bridge the gap between who they are and who they hope to become in imitation of Christ Jesus

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