A Different Kind of Leadership

In their book on the emerging church, Eddie Gibbs and Ryan K. Bolger identify a new understanding of leadership that characterizes this new church movement. What can we learn from this list and do you resonate with some of these ideas? I would love to hear back from you.

• From the vision of the leader to the vision of all – everyone should share in determining the vision

Who owns the vision…The leaders or the congregation? Often a staff will commit hours crafting a mission or purpose statement and it never gets down to the congregation. Every member of your church should know the vision of your church and be able to articulate it!

• From powerful group leaders to leaderless groups – leadership emerges from within the group and is fluid

• From leadership based on willingness to leadership based on gifting – leadership is task oriented and not position oriented

How often have we made the mistake of placing someone in a church leadership position that was not gifted in that position? You can put your hands down now. People need to serve where they are gifted.

• From leadership based on position to leadership based on passion – one’s enthusiasm for something establishes this person as a leader

I often ask people, “What is your passion?” That shows where their heart is and what they really like to do. Someone who has a passion for working with preschoolers (bless you) should not be working with senior adults and vice versa.

• From authority based on position to influence based on track record – the status is given by the group rather than taken by the person or imposed by an institution

Think about this one for a minute…Do we lead based on our position (pastor, chairmen of deacons, women’s ministry director, Doctor, Reverend, etc.) or based on our true leadership ability? Today people are less and less into titles and positions and much more focused on relationships and performance.

• From closed leadership to open leadership – anyone who wants to be a part of the leadership team can be involved

I believe we are smarter together than we are apart. There is a intelligent synergy that happens when Believers think and plan together for the glory of Christ.

• From leaders setting the agenda to congregational agenda setting – leaders reflect back the desire of the group

• From exclusive decision making to inclusive consensus building – a consensus determines which way a church goes

So how is your church led? Are you growing new leaders?

Keep the Son in your eyes,

Mike James

One Comment

  1. Great topic! It is the same in Australia. Everyone looks at seemingly sufusesccl churches and tries to follow their recipe. People do not realize it is who THEY are and what Jesus is doing through them that gives them their distinct flavour and taste in their wider community.Our church’s recipe is Jesus, justice, global missions.

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