Many of the world leaders in history claimed to work for the interest of the people, but many of them has fallen short time and time again. When we think of worldly leadership that implies that the person in that position is on the top of the chain of power over the one below. We see in Matthew 20:25 That the leader of the gentile’s lord it over them. The leader is commended and served to an astonishing ability, an excessive personal achievement or the knowledge to obtain material possession and influence over its followers usually with selfish goals. Contrast to the world’s perspective, Christ leadership is based on humbleness on servitude. “By contemporary standards, Jesus was a failure as a leader” 1. By no means was He a failure His greatest ability was a tender hearted for the sick, the sinner and the poor. His personal greatest achievement was to embrace the cross and to perfectly obey His father will. His greatest ability was and His greatest possession as a human was probably his clothes that were taken from Him the day of His crucifixion as we see in (John 19:23). A leader values other above themselves. In (Philippians 2:3) we see that a leader grabs opportunity to serve and sacrifice for others instead of the other way around.
When Developing a leadership program, a leader or pastor will benefit greatly by recognizing the spiritual, culture style of their congregation. For this assignment we will look at a a local church in the area with around 175 adults and about 40 children on Sundays and about half that size on Wednesday. The four basic types of features of a church explained by Bredfeldt and this congregation has a somewhat balanced spirit and truth mentality. It has a bit of the marks of a spirit- Oriented Church of a Pluralistic Church. Not all of the Pluralistic Churches are the same, most of them “seek personal experience in the spiritual realm and are highly reflective with regards to the matter of Faith”
Especially in our church, relationship between fellow believers is very important and the goal of the service is foe everyone to experience an intense, personal encounter with God. Also, our church is busy, and it is a work-oriented church. One of our focus is primary rescuing the unbelievers in our community. This yields purpose and gives the church an identity. We as a church are so work oriented it affects the way we operate, and it gives everyone an opportunity to serve. We also believe that discipleship is very important. Each one of us is a spiritual leader and is expected to grow in their spiritual walk with help of a mentor, bible study and or church leaders.
LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY AND CONTINUITY
Leadership first begins with almighty God Himself as the ultimate model of leadership. Throughout the Bible God has principals for leadership that can be used by all who are in position to lead others whether it’s in business, school, ministry or even in the home. The greatest leader to ever walk on this earth and He understood the power of teamwork. Jesus was not only a man, but also fully God and His divine privilege He perhaps could have chosen an easier way to spread the good new or gospel and expand the kingdom of heaven. He chose to have a few men around Him that could carry on His message after His departure from earth.
A good church leader will understand the principals of developing other leaders around them to make a greater impact in the church life as well as in the domain of Satan in this world. He understands that evolving mature disciples is not a event, but a long process that takes time, an exemplary life and exceptional dedication. New believers aided by expression of the church and leaders should experience a journey from disciple to spiritual leader. This doesn’t happen by chance, but it is a product of a well-designed leadership development program. For authentic disciples we must have a leadership plan that promotes three important facts of church leadership. They are the calling of a spiritual leader, the character of a spiritual leader and the competence of a spiritual leader.
In Galatians 4;19 we see the concept of spiritual formation in general and it comes from Paul. “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you”.
We quickly realize that the first goal of true discipleship and development is Christlikeness. In (Matthew 16:24) Christ said, if we want to follow Him we must take our cross. Disciples need to understand that striving for Christlikeness will be uncomfortable and painful, but our reward will be great in heaven. As Christ followers we are to imitate the exemplary life of Jesus Christ.
Some of the set backs we face in the American church is the lack of commitment from believers and leaders to come to the realization and what it means to become a Christ follower. George Barna’s tells us with his research that many people have chosen not to invest in a life of serious discipleship we see a few of those here 1 Lack of passion 2 way too busy 3 to satisfied with process or activity with out regard to product 4 Satisfied with good activity that doesn’t challenge to transformation. We all have a spirt that is formed or that is shaped by forces around us.
The second calling that a disciple should be preforming besides being like Jesus is making other disciples. One of the important parts of this is preaching the gospel, but that’s not all that it takes. A program for leaders should be in place so it can provide tools that empowers believer to preach, but it should also encourage them to teach new believers to obey what Jesus taught. When teaching someone there is a big difference between teaching someone what Jesus taught and how to obey what Jesus taught. To produce great fruit, it requires a lot of hard work on behalf of the mentor, but how can one call himself a leader and a teacher to teach others if they do not live a life of obedience and commitment to Jesus himself. That type of insincerity will cause a negative impact in lives of the people all over the world.
A solid leadership program will focus more in the development of the character of a spiritual leader rather than influence or personality. Christian leaders should be a righteous person. Many virtues of an authentic Christian leader are listed in different passages in the Bible. A development programs for church leader must focus on biblical constraints and to be a leader distinguishing and traits of a disciple are found in the book of Galatians 5. The program should be available literature pertaining to this topic. There are many manual and materials that could be used to help us.
Leadership competence is a important quality to have. “Distraction cause us to lose focus and misplace the game before us especially true for ministry leaders”. Great leaders with out competence results in mediocrity. A healthy church is a church where all the members in the body is functioning as a healthy part of the body. Not all of us have the same functions that’s why we must stick to what are abilities are and what God has given us the gift for. We see in Ephesians 4:11-12 it gives us a picture of how leadership competence should look like. “Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophet, the evangelist, pastor and teachers, to equip his people for work of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” One of the main purpose of the gifts in the ministries is for the church to grow. A church can be healthy and function effectively, but it needs to develop a healthy body right from the beginning. Also, a church is determined by the leadership and understanding how and what a healthy body looks like. Before the church think about having the first public service it is a good idea to have a leadership team in place using their gifts and helping to develop those who are becoming Christians.
The concepts discussed in this section we as a church could developed a program that consider all new believers as potential leaders. From the time that someone profess publicly in Jesus Christ the program could be started and as soon as a person becomes a believer they should be assigned a spiritual mentor. The mentor will be a mature believer or a church leader that will be in contact with the new believer until the entire process is over or develop a long-lasting friendship that produces spiritual growth. The new believer first will enroll in a level one discipleship class that teach them foundational truth and make sure they know what salvation means. They will be baptized at the end of this three-month class. The second level of the discipleship class will challenge them to imitate Jesus. They will be trained in disciplines for the Christian life. This course would last three to six months and start to equip the believers. They will start serving in the church that fits their gifts and abilities. The church should have promotion to let the new believers where they can serve. During the year they should post all the openings on the website, welcome center and in the bulletin to recruit volunteers.
The last discipleship level class is focused on teaching the students the attitude of a servant and the urgency of the great commission. The completion of this level should be a mature believer and ready to become a mentor for a new believer. At this point they will develop their potential as a leader in the church. Each one of the mentor and leaders will gather on a quarterly basis to talk about the program and suggest new and improvement to the program. This program is to set up to grow new believers at a pace that they are comfortable with and to take a leadership role in the church.
The purpose of the last discipleship program of the leaders is to give the leaders more training for the leaders and mentors. We all struggle with challenges including lack of motivation and other things. The goal of this meeting is to motivate those and give them the tools to continue to grow personally. It will also help them in areas of the ministry that they are struggling with. They will have different speakers and pastors from all over to encourage them and discus the fundamentals of being a mentor with a time of prayer, worship and fellowship.