Effective Leadership Development – The Blind Men and the Elephant

Last week examined the categories for effective Christ-centered leadership development that make up its components. An organization or ministry may focus on one or more of these categories.

  1. character formation
  2. biblical literacy
  3. context-specific skills
  4. ministry development

By sizing up the task before us, knowing we are functioning in these categories, we think that all’s well that ends well, right? Yes, but here’s the caveat. Research shows that “while every emerging Christ-centered leader needs all four of these categories to be truly effective, no single school or service provider is proficient to develop leaders effectively in all four categories.

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Four Categories of Leadership Development

Leadership Development Over the past several weeks we have been looking at how the term “leadership development” means a lot of things to a lot of people and without a common understanding of terms we might get lost in the wild west of expansion. Last week we at Freedom to Lead defined Christ-centered “leadership development” as “adult-focused, intentional cultivation that seeks to establish and enhance effective Christ-centered leadership practices.” However, merely having a working definition of leadership development is not sufficient to make the way forward. We need to size up the task before us.

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Jesus, the Master Communicator #1: He told good stories

When we encounter Jesus in the New Testament we tend to view him through the lens of him as our Savior and Lord, the long awaited Promised One. But how often do we view him through the lens of Jesus the Master Communicator?

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A Vote For Virtuous Leadership

The pending election for the leader of the free world has been hotly debated. The results will determine directions for our nation and planet in years to come. But this time around, millions of us are more deeply skeptical of our choices. Perhaps it’s because “virtuous leadership” needs more attention in our public discourse. The term “virtues” does not carry much credibility because it sounds like a throwback to the Victorian era. In generations past, leaders spoke of virtues, those beliefs and practices that provided common rules of engagement both in public and private life. These virtues included honesty, humility, fairness, justice, and individual dignity. Although our leaders did not always live up to these benchmarks, at least we agreed on what they were.

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Tying It All Together

The 2020 Vision Statement of Freedom to Lead: In five years we will see 5000 storycentric leaders in 25 under-resourced countries being transformed into competent Christ-centered leaders. We’ve come to the last of the FTL Summer Blog Series where we have been unpacking FTL’s Vision Statement for the next five years. To recap, FTL is offering under-resourced leaders the opportunity to walk towards freedom, suggesting solutions that go beyond the economic. We have seen how each one of these 5000 targeted leaders has a name and a story. And while we can cultivate, God ultimately does the transforming. Last week we even began exploring the competence issue, though only in part. In conclusion, what is the thread that ties all this together? Competent Christ-centered leadership.

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Shipwreck Leadership

Recently I was reading the New Testament book of Acts. I wondered, Why would Luke the author devote such a long chapter of his book (27) to describe a voyage and shipwreck? Surely he could have spared us all the detail! But skilled as a writer and inspired by God, Luke presented important facts about Paul the courageous leader in a time of great crisis. Paul was prisoner aboard a ship bound for Rome. The ship had already encountered adverse winds, and November storms were looming. Speaking from experience – he had already been through three other shipwrecks – Paul warned the crew of impending danger. But as men in charge often do, they ignored him.

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Insights on Power, Character, and the Ministry

Colin Buckland The Lost Art of Integrity A few years ago some colleagues and I hosted a series of one-day conferences for Christian leaders at a well-known London conference centre. The first two were a great success. A list of well-known speakers and a topical subject seemed to be the winning formula. Around 1,500 leaders attended each conference. The third was at the same place with the same formula, except for one change – the subject. We had decided, as conference organisers, that one of the most pressing needs among leaders was the development of integrity. We set the topic and posted the invitations, but when the day came, only 150 delegates attended. When we went on to hold a fourth conference on another topical subject, however, there was a huge turn out. Integrity seems to be a thorny subject for leaders!

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