In our last Letter, we saw that self-giving love is at the core of healthy Christian leadership. For the healthy leader, the “fundamental focus shifts from what we need and from what others should be doing for us to what we can do to serve them… [This] is the very essence of what Jesus did in His life and ministry and it is at the heart of what He calls us to do (Matt. 20:26-28).”
So, does the Christian leader need help from others or is his focus to give help to others? Of course, the answer is yes! Continue Reading »
In our last Letters, we looked at the relationship between Christ and Community in the leader’s life: Christ builds Community, and Community builds Christ.
First, “Christ builds Community” means the leader’s union with Christ will be expressed in the leader living together with others in the Community in self-giving love, in true servanthood. If you know God, you will love and serve your brother (1 John 4:7).
Second, “Community builds Christ” means that it is only as a part of the Community that the leader will fully experience the indwelling life of Christ. Continue Reading »
In our last Letter, we looked at the relationship between Christ and Community and the implications of this relationship for leader development.
In the New Testament, there is a very close relationship between the church and the leader’s maturing union with Christ. This relationship can be expressed in two fundamental ways: Christ builds Community, and Community builds Christ. Continue Reading »
In the western church, Christianity is largely understood as an individual thing – a personal transaction between the individual and God. Consequently, leader development is also understood, largely, in individual terms – the individual learns and grows in an essentially individualized learning environment and then, once qualified, he performs his ministry and fulfills his personal calling.
In the New Testament, however, there is a very close relationship between the church and the leader’s maturing union with Christ. Continue Reading »
In our last Letter, we saw that a healthy church, like a healthy body, is one in which every member is functioning properly; this means that every member grows, serves and builds others. If we can create a church culture in which every believer takes responsibility to grow, serve and build, our churches will transform their worlds! Continue Reading »
What is the best and most biblical way to define a “healthy” church?
Should a church be considered “healthy” when it is doing well financially or when large crowds of people are coming to the meetings? Perhaps a church is “healthy” when the majority of its growth is from new converts, or when it has a strong foreign missions program? Is an effective children’s ministry or youth program the key element for “health”; or perhaps the fact that the church engages well with the culture? Clearly, there are many different things we could focus on. Continue Reading »
As have seen in previous Letters, our leadership development efforts must not be conducted apart from a living community of people in which the emerging leaders function and participate. Continue Reading »
In most Western organizations today, we love specialization and compartmentalization. Consequently, as we have already mentioned, it is common for us to entirely delegate the task of leadership development to some “specialist” person or group – whether inside or outside the organization itself. We identify the emerging leader who needs to be developed and then send him to the “experts” to “do it” for us. Continue Reading »
In our last Letter we looked at the traditional approach to building Christian leaders: the local church sends its emerging leaders to a specialized, independent, external entity (the “factory”) that takes responsibility for training them and then sending them back. Continue Reading »
An ancient African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Similarly, it takes a spiritual community or family to build a leader. Continue Reading »