Cultivating Christ-centered Leaders in a Storycentric Generation
Originally Posted on January 26, 2017 by Missio Nexus
This is a long overdue book about leadership in a world suffering from future shock – a world changing so rapidly that no one can keep up. Changes are happening so quickly that most of the time it feels like we are living on the starship Enterprise leaping into cyberspace where no man has gone before. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, podcasts and live streaming of sermons, university-accredited online theological degrees, discipleship training, and leadership development provide for a quick, inexpensive means to churn out vast numbers of new leaders for the next generation – the demand is great but the workers are few.
While we now have electronic Bibles flying around the world instantly we may mistakenly think that the digital world will solve most of our most pressing problems of making disciples and leaders in a world where our wrist watches seem to be spinning out of control. Much of the time there is great pressure for Christian leaders to communicate with others at superhuman speed within a context of adapt or die.
Now, within this new paradigm of the 21st Century, Rick Sessoms steps into the ring with a novel approach to leadership development. He is advocating going back to basics with an approach Jesus modeled – developing and mentoring leaders face to face using a storycentric approach. After all, Jesus was a brilliant storyteller. He used a method everyone could understand – rich or poor, highly educated, or illiterate. On the surface, Rick’s approach of cultivating Christ-centered leaders seems to be taking us backwards; going back to the ancient methods used by the early church. However, Leading With Story challenges us to reexamine the fundamental value of making disciples and developing leaders in this old fashioned way – the Jesus way of using stories from the Bible and other narrative approaches that communicate more effectively in this changing storycentric generation.
Hollywood and the secular world caught onto this important shift of using narrative to change worldview and effectively develop leaders many years ago. The church unfortunately has been slow to embrace how to inspire and influence the millennial and mosaic generation. For example, Jonah Sachs book Winning the Story Wars or Steven Denning’s Leader’s Guide to Storytelling are standard textbooks for Fortune 500 companies. The secular world understands that those who tell and live out the best stories will rule the future.
Leading Through Story takes a closer look at how the hidden power of story is at the heart of transforming the multitudes of young emerging leaders that God is raising up from the Global South. Leading With Story has rediscovered the important principles that Jesus taught us and gives Western and International church leaders greater clarity amidst the challenges of developing leaders at home and abroad. With the unprecedented growth of the church worldwide in recent decades, the demand for Christ-centered leaders is exploding. Traditional literate methods are coming into question, but few answers have been field tested among the most resistant unreached groups in the 10-40 window, Africa, Asia, as well as Latin America. Many are crying out for solutions that work. Leading With Story gives us credible, timeless, and well-tested models that should be carefully examined.
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