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!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Andrew, great post! I agree with your conclusion about mentoring/discipling those around us. I believe that it's God's will that all [mature] Christians should be leaders/teachers in one capacity or another (as suggested in the Great Commission and later reiterated in Hebrews 5:12).

    Funny, it seems that we're not willing to do anything to disciple those around us for fear that they will be a better leader than we are! At least, not until we get a program all together and organized on how to do it!! ;~) However, it's like my Grandpa always said, "You teach 'em how to beat you." Of course, he was referring to board games, but as Sir Isaac Newton so famously pointed out, "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."

    I tend to think of discipling/mentoring like family: the goal is for them to grow up with the benefit of your expertise to become their own person, responsible for and independently making their own sound decisions. Therefore, it's not just a classroom discussion, it needs to be hands on (I'm not showing my son a diagram of how to tie his shoes....we'll do it together until he gets the hang of it). May the Lord help us to be faithful to entrust these things to faithful men (II Timothy 2:2)!