24 Distinctives of a Remarkable Church

As Slingshot Group associates continues to serve churches across the U.S., totaling nearly 1,000 since our beginning in 2007, one could assume we’ve seen it all… the good, the bad, and the ugly side of churches. But truth be told, we’ve seen more of the beautiful side of the bride of Christ than anything else. My confidence in The Church is continually fueled with each passing year. Though at times ministry can be messy, ultimately, church leaders are caring, sacrificial men and women who love Jesus, and people whose motives are pure.

Our main goal at Slingshot is to “build remarkable teams through staffing and coaching.” And we’re convinced that it’s remarkable teams who ultimately lead their churches into more of the remarkable stuff.

But what is a remarkable church anyway? Through the past decade of my experience as the Co-founder and President of Slingshot Group, I’ve identified 24 distinctives that I believe embody the most effective churches today. They are not necessarily the fastest growing, or the most notable, but they are certainly remarkable! These distinctives are not in any particular order, nor does any single church possess them all — but I believe all are worth pursuing.

24 Distinctives of a Remarkable Church:

  1. Humbly dependent: A keen awareness that God is the only sustainable source
  2. Eternally minded: Decisions are made by leaders in light of an eternal perspective
  3. Strategically clear: The way toward a realized vision is known and adopted by leaders
  4. Emotionally intelligent: Leadership excels in the art of human interaction
  5. Culturally aware: A savvy ability to recognize and address real life issues
  6. Outrageously committed: A relentless drive to skillfully break through challenges
  7. Biblically centered: Full confidence in the Bible as God’s inspired word
  8. Radically inclusive: Focuses on what unifies, rather than divides people
  9. Continually curious: Able to look beyond themselves to discover new things
  10. Consistently deliberate: Decisions are made in light of deeply felt convictions
  11. Prayerfully guided: Next steps are determined as a result of seeking God first
  12. Spiritually sensitive: Leadership senses God’s presence and provision for life
  13. Deeply responsible: Everyone on the team feels a deep sense of responsibility
  14. Structurally fluid: People adjust to change of org/structure for the sake of mission
  15. Extravagantly generous: People faithfully “give back” with joyful confidence
  16. Exceedingly compassionate: Care is demonstrated by actions 1st, words 2nd
  17. Consciously risky: Willing to abandon status quo to foster life transformation
  18. Socially engaged: Resources people & movements confronting social injustice
  19. Overtly transformational: Ministry success is best measured by # of lives changed
  20. Graciously restorative: Leaders lovingly guide broken people in to total healing
  21. Brilliantly innovative: Finds new and improved ways to fuel the vision and mission
  22. Faithfully resilient: Unexpected set-backs become opportunities for breakthrough
  23. Relentlessly creative: A bold culture of creativity fosters natural innovation
  24. Courageously led: Leaders do not shrink back from adversity or opportunity


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