Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Leadership in the Church

Leadership, particularly male leadership, is conspicuously absent from the modern church. The church is suffering from a dearth of intentional leadership development. Think about it. How may of the leaders in your church were identified, mentored, and equipped by your church? Or does your church solely grab those individuals that the business world graciously develops for you. Every now and then a leader will arrive that God has incredibly gifted and once he is thrown into a position of authority he will develop the skills necessary to meet the challenge. This is wonderful when it happens, but it is far from ideal. We need to return to the days of deliberately mentoring those around us to be better leaders than we are.

Several church planting books that I have been reading lately have brought this subject to mind. Exponential by the Ferguson brothers reiterated the need for leadership development. They gave 12 ways of indentifying whether leadership is lacking in your own life:
1. I wait for someone to tell me what to do rather than taking the initiative myself.
2. I spend too much time talking about how things should be different.
3. I blame the context, surroundings, or other people for my current situation.
4. I am more concerned about being cool or accepted than doing the right thing.
5. I seek consensus rather than casting vision for a preferable future.
6. I am not taking any significant risks.
7. I accept the status quo as the way it's always been and always will be.
8. I start protecting my reputation instead of opening myself up to opposition.
9. I procrastinate to avoid making a tough call.
10. I talk to others about the problem rather than taking it to the person responsible.
11. I don't feel like my butt is on the line for anything significant.
12. I ask for way too many opinions before taking action.

While there are some churches that are doing a fantastic job in developing believers into kingdom leaders, it is probable the exception rather than the norm. Maybe this list pointed out some weak areas. Maybe it's time to look at who the Lord has put around us, adopt the attitude of Jesus and Paul, and mentor them (2 Tim 2:2). Unless Christ returns soon, we'd better be busy making disciples and training the next generation of church leaders!