Leadership Letters
Leadership Letters

Writings on Christian leadership and leader development by Malcolm Webber

October 2009
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Truly Christ-Centered Leader Development

Malcolm WebberMalcolm Webber

God’s ultimate purpose in all things revolves around His Son:

having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth – in Him. (Eph. 1:9-10, NKJV)

The Son of God, Himself, is the final and complete revelation of God (Heb. 1:1-2). He fully reveals the Father (John 1:18; 16:15; 17:10, 26; Col. 1:19). In Him “are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). Everything is “under His feet” (1 Cor. 15:27). All things were created through Him and for Him, and all things are held together by Him (Col. 1:16-17). In everything, He has the preeminence (Col. 1:18).

Accordingly, the biblical model of leader development revolves specifically around the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Healthy leader development must be entirely Christ-centered, Christ-focused, Christ-absorbed. The Son of God is all in all!

For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. (Col. 2:9-10, NKJV)

In previous Letters, we have examined both the goal and the process of Christian leader development. In everything, leader development must revolve around the Son of God.

First, the goal of leader development must be Jesus Christ. All five of the necessary elements of healthy leadership are connected directly to Him:

We could build our emerging leaders to shine brilliantly in every human capacity, but if we have neglected to bring them into deep union with Christ, from Whom the whole person is properly built, they will ultimately experience failure in both life and ministry.

Second, the process of leader development must be Jesus Christ. He is the Source of power in all four of the Dynamics of Transformation:

Our training programs might harness the latest and greatest of human wisdom and methods, but if we do not bring our emerging leaders into face-to-face encounters with the Son of God (1 John 1:1-3) – through spiritual, relational, experiential and instructional dynamics – their lives will not be transformed.

Thus, leader development must revolve around Him in everything.

It is an extraordinary and utterly disastrous error to ignore, neglect or assume the intentional centrality of the Son of God in practical Christian leader development in both its goal and process. Jesus, Himself, is the Goal and He is the Process.

Today, in many nations, Christian leaders are returning to their first love – to Him. Burned out and frustrated, they are recognizing that they have been absorbed in His work more than in His Person, and that they are much better equipped in knowledge about Him than in living union with Him.

Of all of the many necessary paradigm shifts that Christian leader development is currently undergoing, this is the deepest, the most profound, the most vital.

Let us return to the centrality and the preeminence of the Person of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, in Christian leader development. He, Himself, is our Process and our Goal; He, Himself, is our Journey and our Destination.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen. (Rom. 11:36)

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