Roy gives Norwich insights into Christian leadership 

2018: Executive Director of HOPE, Roy Crowne, gave insights into Christian leadership during a masterclass held at the Forum in Norwich as part of the Celebrate Norwich & Norfolk event in June. Keith Morris reports.

“With leadership, team is the key,” said Roy, “you have to find a way to work together.

“You need to understand people’s strengths and what they bring to the party. To do that you have to not be controlling but be consultative and consensual in today’s world," said Roy.

“You should start by sharing the vision, deal with the ‘stuff’ and then create a team to get you from one to the other. The biggest hindrance to sharing your vision as an individual is dealing with the stuff between vision and you which can be all-consuming but needs to be resolved to achieve the goal or vision you have set.”

Roy drew some leadership lessons from the Old Testament book of Nehemiah

  • Leadership is a function not a position – when it becomes positional, leaders have problems.
  • There is no secular/spiritual divide in leadership – we can learn from business leaders.
  • Successful leaders are clock builders not time tellers. If you are a clock-builder, the values that you introduce and influence you mean that whether you are there or not it will live on because you will have taught your team to tell the time themselves.
  • Maintain the core values but innovate on the edges – when it becomes successful then everyone will want it.
  • Constant re-alignment – be clear on your strategic plan, but if God kicks in and does something, then change the plan. You lead within a culture, which you need to understand, and which is constantly changing.
  • Build accountability and have reality checks – is what you are doing really working. Many Christian ministers never ask the hard questions.
  • Never underestimate people’s intelligence but always underestimate their knowledge – they don’t know what you know as a leader.
  • Make your vision plain and simple so people can easily follow it (Habakkuk 2:2).
  • Communication is the key to everything – don’t blame the recipients of information. How did you tell them? We are in the communication business. People won’t take in new information unless it fits within what they already know. Great communicators listen and tell stories about ordinary life.
  • Gather others who believe in what you are doing – but watch for opposition, it will come and often from those closest to you on your team. British culture hates success.
  • You need to finish well. 


Roy’s five top tips for Christian leaders

  • Be faithful in the small things – in finance, in accounts, in relationships.
  • Hold vision wisely and not tightly.
  • Obedience is the only policy
  • Don’t grow up – be able to laugh at yourself, don’t take yourself too seriously. All leaders are flawed.
  • Success is ok – God’s wants to bless us with success. 

“We need strong Christian leaders and they are not always around,” concluded Roy. “We need to invest in them now and believe in them.”

How can ordinary people share their faith?

Roy also addressed the key topic of how do we help ordinary people share faith and talk about Jesus?

He outlined the recent www.talkingjesus.org research which shows that our culture is not opposed to talking about Jesus. “For example, 43% of people in Norwich believe Jesus rose from the dead,” said Roy. “67% of non-Christians know a Christian and they like us, they think we are friendly and fun. We have used our research to change people’s confidence in talking about Jesus."

The big question is how do you move someone who knows you are a Christian, and that you have a relationship with, to come to faith, said Roy.

“Some evangelists put people off evangelism because they sit there thinking ‘It does not happen like that in my life’.”

The outcome of the project was to produce a sharing Jesus course for ordinary people around normal conversation. The course is based around small groups and how you talk Jesus in your world. 

“Most leaders deal with the How and the What but not the Why – the motivation for what you want to do,” said Roy. “If you want people to follow you, you must address the Why. We did this by producing films which answer the Why and provoke an emotional response so people feel ‘I should be doing this’. It is aimed at motivating the 90% of people in your church who don’t think they can talk about Jesus."

Watch a video about the course here or below:

Talking Jesus Course Full Trailer from Vivid Broadcast on Vimeo.

Pictured top is Roy Crowne speaking at the Celebrate Norfolk event at the Forum in Norwich. Picture by Kevin Gotts.