The perennial question of leadership never fails to engage our hearts and our minds. The Wall Street Journal reports on a leadership seminar organized by Oxford University’s Said Business School in the Cabinet War Rooms to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s first government. In leadership, secular or spiritual, the same questions arise, what makes a good leader and are good leaders made or born?
The conference brought together 50 major leaders to reflect on leadership. The ideas mooted are not novel, yet edifying and worth attention. And more so now that leadership development has finally been recognized by the church as key to church growth and kingdom expansion, on par, almost, with prayer and evangelism.
In the next few blog entries, I shall be looking at some of the issues relating tof leadership and leaders that emerged from the forum and examining how they may apply to leadership in church and ministry.
The radical changes in our times now require a new form of leadership.
- ‘Today’s leader must think global as well as national’. Businesses, nations and communities are affected by what happens in other parts of the world. In the secular arena, the recent economic meltdown in Greece affected the entire eurozone and even sent Wall Street plummeting. The solutions found to the problem were equally transnational and transorganisational. Ideas circulating on the internet know no national borders and in this war of ideas, we must pool our resources. Christian leaders surely must see that we can no longer function behind national borders alone, preach to and pray for our own nations to the exclusion of others; we must recognize our mutual interdependence. This was the thinking behind our European Prayer Conference in January where we sought to bring together prayer leaders from different European nations to pray for the continent as a whole and go beyond an exclusively narrow national focus.
- ‘Today’s leader must think long-term rather than focus on short term success’. This is key. The focus on numbers as a hallmark of success and divine blessing can drive pastors to use unethical means to promote ministerial growth. Since the ministerial pecking order is increasingly less tied to personal godliness and more to church size, we risk jettisoning the process of value building that is essential to all organizations in a bid to achieve explosive growth in little time. If our gauge of success is how many we can boast attended our conference or attend our church we will take shortcuts, compromise, even sin to boost attendance and raise profile rather than focus on prayerfully putting down deep roots to give a solid foundation to the work entrusted to us by God, walking in integrity, developing values and developing people rather than gathering a crowd; which will inevitably lead to long term success, growth and victory. It’s the same reason why leaders turn a blind eye at sin because the bottom line is not building a culture of holiness that will endure, but gathering a crowd quickly to give me the appearance of success.to be continued….
Click to read part 2 LEADERSHIP, THE FUTURE (PART 2)