An effective leader possesses a blend of three special elements:
- Vision. In Christian circles, we could also call this “Calling.”
All three elements are found in the description of King David in Psalm 78:
He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them. (Ps. 78:70-72)
Verses 70-71 reveal David’s calling:
He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people
Verse 72a shows his character:
David shepherded them with integrity of heart
Verse 72b describes David’s competencies:
with skillful hands he led them.
Just as a stool has three legs, there are three foundations of effective leadership. All three must be present and in balance for the leader to succeed. The three foundations are calling, character and competencies. Continue Reading »
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 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 »
The “Be, Know, Do” (BKD) model of leader development is used by the U.S. Army but has also gained some measure of popularity in Christian leader development.
According to the Army, leaders lead others by their character, by their competence, and by their actions; therefore, effective leader development must focus on the leader’s character and values (“Be”), his competencies (“Know”), and his decisions and actions (“Do”). Continue Reading »
By definition, leaders have too many responsibilities on their plate. This is what distinguishes leaders from non-leaders – the ability to think it through and then act. And the courage to do so. Continue Reading »
The 5C Goal of Leader Development
According to Robert Clinton, over 70 percent of leaders who successfully climb the ladder of leadership influence do not finish well. Some dramatically fail, precipitating public scandal, while the majority of leaders who lose their influence just fade quietly into obscurity. They fall short because in their outwardly successful lives there is a disconnection between the development of leadership competencies and the development of leadership character. Continue Reading »
In our last Letter, we saw that just as Jesus lived His life by the life of His Father in Him, so we are to live our Christian lives, by the life of Jesus in us. 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 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 »