Several thoughts surround the definition of this word. While a common idea involves a form of competition, the most relevant definition of a challenge describes a task or situation that tests someone’s abilities.
When dealing with leadership two primary thoughts should be considered.
1) Leaders need to be challenged themselves. We must find ways to test our abilities to strengthen the character of our leadership providing followers with the best quality of leadership.
2) Leaders must challenge others. The idea is to present tasks or situations where the abilities of followers is tested to produce growth on a personal and group level.
People arise to what is expected of them. If little or nothing is expected, then little or nothing is given. However, experience has proven that when leaders provide encouragement and a level of expectation, then followers come through.
I have seen this happen financially and spiritually.
The challenge for leaders is to learn how to develop the type of discipline to strengthen their own leadership and know followers well enough to use their abilities to achieve growth within the church.