Leadership in The Church, Particularly.

 

Regardless of what you think, assert or believe, everything under your leadership is a direct reflection of the following points.

  • Your relationship with Christ
  • Your ability to reflect the image of Christ
  • The ability to use the gifts God has given you and the congregation
  • The ability to engage with your community (church and local) in a proactive way
  • How you nurture and grow people in your church
  • How you work with and grow individuals and the teams
  • Your true character

A good leader will seek creative input from all people around them, and ask, how decisions being made are affecting the church and the congregation. In essence, this is feedback from across the board of the church and outside observers. A good leader will always receive and give feedback and adjust their leadership accordingly, that change and growth may occur.

The key to receiving feedback is to

  • Give permission for others to help you understand yourself and who you are
  • Listen and hence learn (they can’t all be wrong)
  • Be open to the difficult comments, you need to hear the hard things to remove them
  • Gives you a range of opinions (they can’t all be wrong)
Leadership Scale

Laisses faire———————————–Autocratic

Couldn’t care less====================My way or the highway

 

 

The Transformational Leader.

A church with a good transformational leadership will more than likely be a place that has an effective missional, discipleship and community focused culture. And will be defined by some, or, all of the following points.

  • Promote innovation (using people’s skills and ideas)
  • Reward activity (Testimonials)
  • Develop and grow individuals (discipleship)
  • Be open to change (ready to move with the Spirit)
  • Concentrate on multiple possibilities (Gifts, skills, anointing’s and various callings)
  • Allow for differences and use it for change (Hear when you’re going wrong)
  • Know what people are thinking (Involved in people’s lives)

Jesus was and is a transformational leader. A transformational leader does not focus on themselves, rather they have a focus on a higher purpose. Everything they do and say is a function of that higher purpose and its objectives, hence the importance of vision and purpose to remain focused. Within The Church, this vision must follow God’s purpose and connect with God’s laws, commands and precepts. It is not a vision for one church alone, but a vision that serves the higher purpose of revealing Jesus as Saviour, what the kingdom of God is and how it works, to mention a few things. It must be a vision that builds into the overarching principals of the word of God and His kingdom.

A vision that is deemed for “our brand” fails in this department as this creates competition and breeds disunity and is unlikely to be God given. Where there is competition, the leadership can only consider other churches as the competition. This means there can be no support or encouragement for or from other churches and subsequently creates division and disunity. This church becomes self-focused and selfish and must rely on its own abilities and thus separates itself from the kingdom as a whole (Reminder of Cain and Able here).

A transformational leader is one who “see’s” something within a person. When Jesus picked His disciples, the bible say’s “He saw…..”, so, what did Jesus see when He saw His disciples?

Something within the person must standout, an ability, a passion, some kind of characteristic. The transformational leader will identify this and knows that they can develop it into a leadership or developmental role. The aim of the leader is to draw the follower(s), (which is discipleship, a biblical principal, law and command) into a common and greater than either of them purpose, (let’s call it God and the Kingdom) that they will pursue. In the pursuance of the objective, the leader will develop the follower by increasing their self-awareness, self-confidence and increasing their expectations of themselves.

The objective of a transformational leader, is to “see” that followers can be raised up to be leaders such that the transformational leader is replaced or the follower goes onto bigger and better things and the leader starts again with new disciples.

The transformational leader “sees” people as intelligent and able with the ability to grow through the cultivation of their intelligence and skill set. This development is partially created through the exploration of why mistakes occurred and discovering options, as well as identifying opportunities to use abilities, (It is inevitable that mistakes will occur, just be aware rather than anxious or fearful and be ready to resolve as required). Direction and focus are continually challenged (ready to follow the Spirits leading) and the decisions that are made are done through consultation, discussion and debate with and supported by all involved.

Overall the transformational leader creates an environment that allows people to bring their best ideas and thinking and allows them to operate at their best by stretching them and  creating growth. As growth and success occur, the transformational leader ensures that those doing the work are duly rewarded and or recognised (encouraged, supported and protected from ego)

Jesus picked disciples that were the least likely suspects to be picked. Little or possibly no  theological background, working in one of the least respected jobs and having very little social standing. Yet he “saw” them and what they had inside could be transformed into Gods purposeful use. It may be that the most beneficial people in a church congregation could be the least recognised or noticed individuals, you just need to “see” them.

Jesus spent time with His disciples. He would have learnt and understood their hopes and dreams, their desires and used this to harness their energies to focus on developing them and growing them in kingdom principals and realities. As He discovered what their natural abilities were, Jesus would have directed them to move in this area, (He didn’t call fishermen to be fishers of men for no reason) Jesus would have “opened doors” of opportunity for their skills. The disciples had all come from various backgrounds, yet they worked as a team and complimented one another in their skills and spread the load. One person could not do all the things required and nor can one person come up with all the possibilities or options for a given problem or issue, hence the need for discussion and debate and frequently realising a follower’s direction, guidance, or idea is just as appropriate as your own (remember a leader is trying to grow a follower to be a leader as well as growing themselves).

As a transformational leader, Jesus would have realised that people love to contribute to things that are greater than themselves. Once their abilities have been determined all the leader needs to do is to open a door for that person to use their skill. This skill maybe that thing the person does subconsciously, without even realising that they a) are doing it or b) doing it really well, they just do and it requires no extra effort or reward. Once a transformational leader see’s this skill, they should then look for opportunities for that person to use that skill, without, of course, abusing the privilege. Of course, there may be things that inhibit the use of the skill and the transformational leader should look for these and ways to remove them, even if it’s the leader themselves. The transformational leader will find and connect the developing disciple with opportunities that use their highest level of ability and perhaps just beyond.

Often this skill might be in an area that the leader does not perform very well. Which is perfect for the transformational leader. It develops others, allows load sharing and allows the leader to focus on the important task, such as studying the word of God, determining what God is saying to the church. Focus on God in this way, prevents random assumptions, or just going with your gut and hoping God is in it. You rest in the presence of God and commune with Him and come away(eventually) knowing exactly what God requires of you.

At the end of the day both John and Jesus knew that someone else was going to carry on their work and set the example, explain, train and leave them to it. A leader then must be humble and self-aware enough to realise it is not about them. Rather it is for the greater cause, the overarching reason and then be prepared to be teach themselves out of a job, or, continue teaching others to that point. This then is a humbling position to be in and is a suitable place for a good leader to be, a place of sacrifice and cross bearing humility. A place of change, growth and development of others and of self.

These are the sort of thing that Jesus would have seen in the Apostles when He chose them, as well as a depth of character, abilities and skills that could be developed, humility, compassion and care. The ability to learn and grow and pass things on to others. A people who wouldn’t hold onto what they were given, but who would freely give it away for the greater cause. People who would learn by experience and pass it on, people who were courageous as they were bold, people who would speak out and proclaim the Gospel truth.

This is what a leader should be looking for and doing, particularly in the church, it’s called discipleship, it is based on the foundation of prayer, it is a command and if done correctly and well, will create immense growth in any church

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