The leadership model that I grew up in was relationally strong and I’m forever grateful to the men in leadership who created opportunities for me to grow in my desire to serve the Lord.
The Jesus example of the 12 is a good example of a relationally heavy leadership model. There was no doubt that Jesus was leading the team, yet we have those Biblical texts in which Jesus says “I no longer call you servants but friends.” I’m convinced of this: in many other models of leadership, I would’ve been dismissed or overlooked for a number of different reasons. Yet, these men, through meaningful relationships, created opportunities for me to begin to express ministry and leadership. I wish I could mention them all but that could be an incredibly long list. Jesus created opportunities by sending his disciples out two by two. He sent them to do certain tasks, some practical and some spiritual. All the while, He was stirring and encouraging them with powerful lessons and parables while demonstrating the heart of his father for lost, hurt, & broken people.
Is it any wonder that it is said of Jesus’ disciples after His ascension, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.” (Acts 17:6)
I’ve always believed that leadership is more about what we can call out of people rather than what we can hammer into them. Leaders have a God-given call and mandate to produce and reproduce leaders that will carry Jesus’ heart to neighbors, neighborhoods, and nations. But we will never accomplish that if we spend more time disqualifying people than we spend qualifying them.
In NCMI, a mantra has always been Recognize, Raise Up, and Release.
1. Recognize – look for heart, skills, and talents. Look for what stirs the individual then try to release them into that, rather than simply tasking people around the needs of the church. When people are stirred to do what is already in their hearts, we won’t have to spend substantial energy motivating them to stay on task.
2. Raise Up – this is the training phase. I believe we need both the organic as well as the organized approach to this. Organic would be about friendship and relationships, possibly traveling with you if you have those opportunities. Organized would be a little more intentional and could and probably should include some formal time in classes.
3. Release – this comes after the training component. This is often the missing component in leadership development. Once you’ve recognized, and trained you must release! Learn to trust your training. And if you can’t do that, then perhaps your training needs some reevaluation. Let them get on with the job. Will it be perfect? Probably not. But I’m glad Jesus isn’t looking for perfection or I’d be out of a job. Will it be the way that you do it? Probably not…but what if it’s better? Trust God and open your hand and allow your leaders to lead.recognized, and trained you must release! Learn to trust your training. And if you can’t do that, then perhaps your training needs some reevaluation. Let them get on with the job. Will it be perfect? Probably not. But I’m glad Jesus isn’t looking for perfection or I’d be out of a job. Will it be the way that you do it? Probably not…but what if it’s better? Trust God and open your hand and allow your leaders to lead.
4. Repeat – I’ve added this one recently. When we have done it and we’ve recognized leaders and we’ve raised them up and we’ve released them, then we need to start all over again. The Lord recently spoke to us at Redemption City Church about Ten in Ten! Some combination of 10 church plants or sites in the next 10 years! That’s when I added the repeat part!
Part 3 coming soon
Until next time