Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Missional Manifesto II

What is leadership?

The style of leadership taught by Donald Trump on his Apprentice TV show has found its way into the boardroom of many American corporations and into the pastor's office of many churches.

There is considerable debate whether this style of leadership is effective in the business world. But there should be no debate whether this style of leadership is appropriate within the kingdom of God.

Jesus told his disciples, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant" (Matthew 20:25–26).

Even in the business world there has been significant interest in "servant leadership." But too often in the Church, the talk of servant leadership is little more than lip service. Or it is seen as a technique to wield power more effectively.

Church leaders seem to covet the same power, fame and clout as the ego-driven business leaders. But leadership in the Church is not primarily about getting things done.

Leadership is not so much about task effectiveness, management ability, vision casting or time efficiency. Leadership is about modeling life in Christ.

Brian J. Dodd, Empowered Church Leadership, p. 100

God does not need our programs, long-term goals and strategies. What he wants are people who have learned how to depend upon him.

What we need from our leaders and in our churches is not new principles, new ideas or new buildings. What we need is a renewed dependence upon God, to be renewed in the person, presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

Brian J. Dodd, Empowered Church Leadership, p. 29

Leadership is primarily about discipleship, discipleship of the leader. The leader must learn to recognize what God is already doing. The leader must learn how to depend upon God's power and resources. The leader must learn how to help others follow him or her in this process.

Too much of what passes for leadership in the Church is ego-driven manipulation with a spiritual veneer.

To accomplish spiritual results we do not create the future by visioning it or by mobilizing people to create our picture of what the future will be. I am directly criticizing a predominant teaching among Christian writing and leadership seminars that promote the importance of vision. My criticism of them is they do not use "vision" the way the Bible does, and their teaching tends to promote flesh acts, not Spirit-led leadership.

Brian J. Dodd, Empowered Church Leadership, p. 159

Before long we no longer need God except as a magic charm to give us "good luck." These are our plans, our ideas, our vision. We go through the ceremony of having God bless them, but they remain ours.

For too long, church leaders have been obsessed with the search for the program, tactic, or strategic plan that delineates a goal, sets out a path, and aligns people in moving toward and realizing a predetermined future.

Alan Roxburgh & Fred Romanuk, The Missional Leader, p. 145

Church leadership seems to have borrowed the worst of "leadership" in the business world.

Whole systems of church life are being formed on the basis of the CEO leader who takes charge, sets growth goals, and targets "turn around" congregations much like a business CEO who comes in to lead a failing corporation.

Alan Roxburgh & Fred Romanuk, The Missional Leader, p. 27

Not only is there a theological problem with this approach, but (ironically) there is a practical problem as well. When the "strong leader" becomes the model, the "followers" tend to become passive.

We have been so captivated by hierarchical, top-down conceptions of leadership, be it that of bishops, superintendents, pastors, and CEO-type leaders, that we have inadvertently blocked the power latent in the people of God.

Alan Hirsch, The Forgotten Ways, p. 163

But the real problem here remains the theological one. Our methods and models deny the message we proclaim.

Our theology says that we should lead from below, but all our models say we should look and act successful.

Alan Roxburgh & Fred Romanuk, The Missional Leader, p. 190

Pastor Rod

"Helping You Become the Person God Created You to Be"

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