Level 5 Servant Authoritarian Laissez Faire Democratic Results Oriented Larry the Cable Guy Leadersh
We've got it all. Leadership grids, focus groups, colloquiums in ministry, mission assessments, branding strategies, pavilions, team building, leverages, averages, beverages, play grounds, church apps, video clips, learning pods, and conferences that ignite, explode, engage, lift, elevate, sync, inspire, breathe, and even bore.
This morning I Googled "church health" and received, in a just .44 seconds, 1,800,000 search possibilities. We are the most resource rich group of church people in his-tory.
And, yet, with such analytics a search engine away 80%, which is more likely than not a very conservative estimate, of the churches in these United States are either in maintenance mode or trending downward, both signals of dysfunction at some level. There's learning though in this crazy admixture of opinions, application of research, and proposed solutions. Across the board we're agreeing that (1) programs only provide temporary impetus for churches, (2) context is everything in defining mission, and (3) leadership matters. Just to satisfy my own curiosity, I Googled "leadership" and got 483,000,000 results in just .31 seconds. And, that may be one of the problems. There's a lot out there proposing models and systems for leadership.
When I'm with minstry pals we usually talk about the books we're reading. More often than not they're leadership books, and they cover every niche in the progressive, ever-evolving world of providing spiritual guidance in his church. There's hardly a time when we're not comparing notes regarding Level Five Leadership, servant leaders, leading like Christ, quadrants in the leadership grid, being results oriented, modeling critical thinking in the executive suite, management by objectives, tribal leadership, and thirty eleven systems to raise the leadership bar. If leadership is the deal in correcting the steering mechanisms of the local church, and denominations for that matter, then there's an abundance of great scholarly research that has been compiled by some incredible authors and leadership professionsals. They're making us more informed and are certainly giving us new talking points for our ministry clusters, accountability groups, and lunch time banter. They're just not creating much traction in the proving grounds, the local church.
The Book of Acts portrays a church that had three or four essential resources. They had spiritual power, an endless mission field, a message that had been entrusted to them, and obedient hearts. OK, I'm no scholar and I know there's some between the lines assets that incredible leaders like Peter and Paul and Timothy and Barnabas and many others shared. Yes, they were change ready, passionate, and willing to suffer. They weren't trying to impress anybody with their reading list or their aptitude for learning, though they seemed aware of the world around them and eager to learn.
Recently I disposed of around 3,000 books. Plan one was to sell them all, but then I discovered they were my dear friends and I couldn't sell such devoted friends. So, I gave them away to anybody who expressed a desire to learn from them. Now, in this new chapter, I'm trying to rely less on what is happening out there and more on his provision for me. Don't get me wrong. I love my iPad, iPhone 6, MAC Book, Nook, FitBit, Bose Wireless speaker, Keurig Coffee Maker, and an internet connection to a world that's changing by the nano-second. The leadership work by the Blackabys, Blanchard, McNeal, Collins, Sanders, and dozens of new authors are thrilling means of keeping up with a fast-moving world. Leaders have to stay connected you know.
But, there's also the idea of fixing my eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith, the one that created everything, for whom everything was created, who holds everything together, on this earth and in the heavenlies. With all of our leadership and mission options maybe we've taken our eyes off the one that really matters, the one that makes everything possible. Being informed is important. Being transformed is more so.
Could it be that simple?