Has your church or denomination felt the decline in leadership development at it’s core and in it’s seminaries? Have your boards and committees wondered what they will do in the future, as it appears that there will not be enough pastors, or trained leaders bringing direction to your congregations? Has there become a sense of urgency that there are fewer and fewer missionaries being prepared or even willing to go out with the good news. If so, you are not alone, but unfortunately you fit all too well with the trend in North America.
The future of leadership is being questioned at many levels. The irony of the problem though, is that there are more and more people in our communities with degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels that are only finding work at fast food restaurants and the like. We must ask ourselves why are we having this problem when our young people are becoming increasingly trained according to university standards?
Is there a possibility that at times we have become too consumed at the denominational levels, and even at the local church levels with well-rounded leaders, that we have lost the vision for great leaders? Are we so driven to get young leaders with breadth, that we miss the need for leaders with character? Is it possible that the greatest leaders in the next generation will be terrible at many things, but the best at others? The leaders of tomorrow will lead according to their strengths, and therefore will lead according greatness.
But to lead with greatness in today’s ever-changing world, we must help our young leaders to find tools for global effectiveness. Many of our leadership strategies of old are based on North American principles. These principles have seen great success, but are now being questioned in the global leadership discussion. Due to power distance, time orientation, and many other cultural paradigms, we must recognize that some of our tried and true tools are only effective in a traditional North American environment. We are no longer a single culture on Sundays, we have become global in community, and we must match our leaders with it.
Developing leaders with Character is the foundation. Developing leaders according to their strengths is the method. Developing leaders with Cultural Intelligence is the key. Finding the leaders in your denomination, or local church that strive to be great, and helping them to develop the ability to be great effectively across cultures is the goal.
Our call as people who believe in Jesus is to develop disciple makers who represent the gospel on a global scale. If you are a believer, you are called to make disciples. If you are a disciple maker, then you are a leader. So let us raise up the next generation of leaders to be just that…leaders, not followers. And let us equip them with the tools to be effective and greatglobal disciple makers. Let us not conform to the leadership principles of the world, but transform them with the renewing of our mind, and the outpouring of our character.