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! Continue Reading »
In our last Letter, we looked at the goal of leader development – we must build healthy leaders. There are five key attributes of a healthy leader:
Thus, a healthy Christian leader is a man or woman who knows God, was formed and lives in supportive and accountable community, has strong character, knows the purpose of God and presents it with credibility, clarity and passion, and has the necessary gifts, skills and knowledge to lead the people in the accomplishment of this purpose – and is continually growing in all five areas.
Whether or not one embraces our particular “5C Model,” everyone agrees that we must build the whole person. Certainly, no one seems to be arguing that we should build Christian leaders who don’t know God, or who don’t have character, and so forth!
But how can we build the whole person? It’s very easy to say that we need to do this. How can we actually build union with Christ, relational capacity, integrity, vision and practical ministry capacities in an emerging or existing leader? 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 »
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 »
The leader needs to be connected with four kinds of community: his family, his local church, the various ministry teams of which he is a part, and the world. Continue Reading »