By Rod Denton, Equipping The Next Generation
A recent study in America by George Barna concluded that only 7% of pastors in America had the gift of leadership. His conclusion, “Where have all the leaders gone?”
In a recent article by Ed Stetzer called ‘My Love/Hate Relationship With Leadership’, he writes “The difficulty is that leadership has fallen on hard times in evangelical churches…. Everything was leadership in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, but now the pendulum has swung the other way”.
I believe that we are now experiencing a call to a revival of leadership. And not before time. In addition, might I say that hopefully we will see a revival in the mentoring of leaders, because leaders grow leaders. Courses and resources on leadership can be helpful, but only if they are taught by leaders. For academics grow academics and administrators grow administrators. We need experienced leaders to respond to the call to train up a new generation of leaders. We reproduce after our own kind and can only take people as far as we have gone ourselves.
The following is a selection of quotations from articles that have come to my attention in recent times on the subject of ‘Leadership: The Forgotten Key To Growing A Healthy Organisation’.
Leadership is not a position, or a title, or years of experience, or academic qualifications. Leadership is Influence. May the reading of this timely cluster of excerpts inspire you to rise up to model a life that will inspire a new generation of people to become great influences for the world in which they live.
Timely Words On Leadership
“It all rises and falls on leadership.”
— John Maxwell
“I studied a large number of successful churches from a variety of denominations and found one consistent characteristic that was common to them all: It was leadership.”
— Rick Warren
“When Mike Dodson and I were researching and writing ‘Comeback Churches’ we wanted to find what factors led to Church Revitalisation. We expected to find Prayer, Preaching, Evangelism etc. We researched and we studied more than 320 churches. We called them and did multiple interviews with dozens of them. Do you know what we found? Everything rises and falls on leadership. The lack of leadership development is, in my view, one of the primary reasons churches plateau. Too many pastors are incapable (or unwilling) to identify and cultivate leaders within the church. They struggle mightily just to recruit workers. But, until pastors are able and willing to train leaders and leaders of leaders, the church will always stop growing at the furthest reaches of the pastors’ own ability to work.”
— Ed Stetzer, My Love Hate Relationship With Leadership
"I have served as a Church Consultant for more than fifteen years. The work has been steady, as few churches on the North American continent (or around the world, for that matter) are fully healthy. The weaknesses in most churches are several, including a lack of evangelism, a failure to disciple, a focus turned inward and a myriad of other issues. At the core of most concerns, however, is a singular pressing issue: a failure in leadership."
— Chuck Lawless, Paul's Missionary Methods
“An organisation, corporation, church ministry, market place business will grow to the size of the leader. I have seen churches that have been at 200 for years, people come and people go, but they will only grow to the size of the leaders. When an organisation does not grow, we often try to fix things somewhere else in the organisation. Now this might be needed, but we should always look first at the leader.”
— Sam Chand, Leadership Capacity
“Because of a mediocre culture, most churches retain just enough volunteers to keep things afloat. This has a serious and unintended consequence – high capacity leaders stay away. They simply don’t want to be part of poorly led teams. The result is that church leaders can’t find enough great leaders who can attract other capable leaders…”
— Carey Nieuwhof, Lasting Impact
“Most organisations are over trained and under developed. Training is about a task. Development is about a person. A lot of people are trained, but not developed. We train people but we don’t invest in people as persons, how they behave, their assumption of responsibility, their understanding of why they are there, what is their culture and their daily courtesies.Training is easy, development is difficult. Development requires mentoring and coaching (by a leader). There are people who can deliver on a job given to them, but in the process they run over people, they are rude to people and you as the leader have to follow after them and pick up the pieces. The problem is that they are over trained and under developed.”
— Sam Chand, Over Trained And Under Developed
“If climate drives business results, what drives climate? Roughly fifty to seventy percent of how employees perceive their organisations climate can be traced to the actions of one person: the leader. More than anyone else, the boss creates the conditions that directly determine people’s ability to work well.Our basic argument, in a nutshell, is that primal leadership operates at its best through emotionally intelligent leaders who create resonance. Indeed, interviews with two million employees at seven hundred American companies found that what determines how long employees stay – and how productive they are – is the quality of their relationship with their immediate boss.”
— Daniel Goleman, The New Leaders
“People join companies and leave managers.”
— Marcus Buckingham, The Gallup Organisation
“The pastor is the person who is the key to the growth of the local church. I have yet to see a growing church in which the pastor does not want the church to grow and is not willing to pay the price.”
— Peter Wagner, Your Church Can Be Healthy
“At the end of the day, however a vision statement is just a statement. It has no life of its own. It cannot, nor will it ever, energise, unify, or align an organisation . This task falls to the leader. A vision statement is only as strong as the leader is. Vision is only as clear as the leader is. Vision is only as compelling as a leader makes it. A vision is stewarded and sustained by a leader.”
— Shawn Lovejoy, Be Mean About Vision
“Follow me,” Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him.
— Luke 5:27
Questions to Ask
- How would I score myself as an effective leader?
- What steps have I taken to grow as a leader in the last 12 months? How many books, courses etc have I processed on the subject of leadership.
- How many emerging leaders have I attracted to work with me in the last 12 months?
- How much time do I spend each week in my development of leaders.
- What changes do I need to make in my job description to be able to invest suitable time in my own leadership emergence and in the leadership emergence of others?
- To what degree have I developed a leadership culture in my church or ministry?
- In what ways am I currently being mentored in leadership development?
- What goals do I need to set and achieve to get to the next level as a leader?
- How well am I doing in my growth in the area of Emotional Intelligence? (see Daniel Goleman’s book ‘The New Leaders’)
- If an organisation grows to be the size of its leader, what is my current capacity to grow a church?
This article was originally published here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/leadership-forgotten-key-growing-healthy-denton-rod
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rod Denton has served as a pastor and as a teacher in the development of emerging leaders in Australia and 9 different countries across Asia with Asian Access. He now serves as a consultant for Rod Denton Equipping The Next Generation. Rod also serves part time as the Mission's Resource Consultant with the Salvation Army. More information: www.roddentoneng.com.au
See also, Asian Access Faculty