Leadership Development

How do we define leadership development?

Leadership development. It’s become something of a fad. Today organizations love to talk about it. If a church or ministry offers a “leadership development” program, then they feel like they’re well on their way. How do we define leadership development?

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Types of Power and Leadership – Stewards of Power

Every ministry leader is a steward of power. The use of power can either cultivate potential in others and achieve desired results, or it can harm people and stall progress. Here are four lessons for leaders to keep in mind as we navigate the power at our disposal. Lesson #1: The exercise of power is not the same as the practice of leadership. As author Jim Collins says in Good to Great and the Social Sectors, “If I put a loaded gun to your head, I can get you to do things you might not otherwise do, but I’ve not practiced leadership; I’ve exercised power.” If people follow because they have no choice, then that’s not leading.

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Through the Eyes of Indigenous Leaders (Video)

When FTL began nine years ago, we did not imagine all that is happening in this ministry today. God is doing something through The Garden Project that is beyond our capacity or even our predictions. And we are grateful to be part of the tapestry He is weaving. But as I write these words on a long-haul flight from Istanbul to Atlanta, I am reminded by the passengers around me that we have hardly scratched the surface. Most of my fellow travelers appear to be from the Middle East. Their clothing and head coverings represent billions of people who have not yet experienced Jesus’ forgiveness and love. The task of cultivating leaders to reach people and communities is monumental. 

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Run Hard Into a New Year – Part One

As we begin a new year into 2018, I see great parallels between long-distance running and the ministry we have with Freedom to Lead. These are personal things I’m learning as I’ve been putting my feet to the pavement these days. Let’s look at ten of these parallels as we “run hard” into a new year with new beginnings.

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If Leaders Are Changed, the People Will Come

Last week we started by asking, “What happens on the Wednesday after Giving Tuesday?” In the several weeks between now and the end of the year we are inviting you to “go beyond” and take part in what God is doing through Freedom to Lead International. Empowered by the Spirit, Freedom to Lead is catalyzing a cycle: We cultivate Christ-centered leaders. These leaders foster healthier churches. These churches attract new people who often become redeemed people. These people impact their communities with the gospel and become a fresh coalition of potential Christ-centered leaders. In other words, the cycle begins with changed leaders, and the outcome is changed churches, people, and communities.

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What Happens after Giving Tuesday?

This week in America our families and friends will gather for a day of Thanksgiving. Since my heart surgery in September I have not eaten much sugar, gluten, or dairy, but for this special occasion I am looking forward to the carrot cake that will be made from my mother and grandmother’s recipe.

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Are We Just Filling Holes?

During the summer that I turned 37, my mentor asked me, “Have you decided what you want to be when you grow up? And how can I help you get there?” His tone was gentle. His words were warm. But his question was serious. It seems like the kind of question you ask a 5-year old. Or of someone who just finished high school. But at 37, much of my adult professional life has already been lived. I’ve grown in some areas, I’ve failed in others, but I’ve been doing it. Gone are the days of my idealistic youth. Idealism doesn’t leave a whole lot of margin for internal politics, unhealthy work cultures, and flawed systems. Nor does it account for the fact that we need to learn to master the “waiting game” as unfulfilled dreams to change the world rest.

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Reaching the Unreached People in East Africa

East Africa Module 1

Real People With Real Stories “Grace” is 30 years old. Every week she walks on rough roads through mountainous terrain for 25 miles in order to reach the community for Jesus. She is persecuted for her faith, but she persists in her ministry because her calling to the unreached is great. “Ian” worked among an unreached people group. He was one of the very few Christ followers that had made contact with these people. “Jerry” was building into Ian, developing him as a leader in order to grow the church there. Last month, Jerry’s phone alerted him that Ian was calling, except when he answered it wasn’t Ian. The person on the other end had to deliver the bad news that Ian had been killed in a car accident. Jerry lost not just a friend that day, but one of his strategic leaders in his network. With Ian now gone, who is going to carry on this work? These are real people with real stories. These are the people Freedom to Lead International has interacted with on the ground in Kenya this month. They are doing amazing work, but they are under-resourced. A Message For You FTL in East Africa Reaching the Unreached This month we have been meeting a network that spans nine countries in East Africa. They have requested Freedom to Lead International to provide our leadership development program (The Garden Project) for thousands of leaders throughout this large ministry that focuses on unreached people. After 40 of

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Christmas: A String Around My Finger

My grandmother used to help me to remember by saying, “Ricky, tie a string around your finger.” The logic, of course, was that when I saw the string, I would ask myself, “Why is the string there? Oh, I remember.” A string around my finger was kind of hard to forget. Christmas, too, is like a string around my finger. I have a way of forgetting, so each year the celebration of Jesus’ birth is a reminder of at least three things:

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Leading Through the Grief of Change

A primary responsibility of leadership is to initiate and manage change. Like many of my peers, I have eagerly embraced this role of change agent during my career. In fact, I like change – that I initiate. On the other hand, I haven’t been so receptive of change when someone else is initiating it. My track record is pretty typical when another leader has initiated change that affects me. Getting in touch with this common reaction is helpful to guide others through the difficult process of change. Most people are uncomfortable with change that someone else initiates, because change – even good change – often brings a sense of loss and grief. How leaders help their people navigate the grief of change often determines leadership success or failure. Leadership and the Five Stages of Grief

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Leadership Matters

We believe that leaders make a huge difference in people's lives.