The Focus of Leadership

Anyone who aspires to be a leader in ministry must first  be an “apprentice”, not an apprentice leader of a ministry but an apprentice of Christ. We all know what an apprentice carpenter or an apprentice electrician is and we know what they do. They apprentice under a “master”- master plumber or master electrician. Naturally it follows then what an apprentice of Christ does- he/she apprentices under the Master Christ.

Alan Hirsch notes in his classic book The Forgotten Ways, “the quality of the church’s leadership is directly proportional to the quality of {apprenticeship}…. If we fail in the area of making {apprentices} we should not be surprised if we fail in the area of leadership development…. And leadership, to be genuinely Christian must always reflect Christlikeness and therefore… {apprenticeship}.”

A church leader is not a leader because of position given but is a leader based on the outflow from the heart driven by an intimate and fresh relationship with the Father. Leaders within the church today know first and foremost they are apprentices of Christ. Leaders in the church today are those walking most closely with the Trinitarian presence of God TODAY. Being a leader is driven solely by one’s relationship with the Father not title or position.


2 thoughts on “The Focus of Leadership

  • August 10, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Church leadership today has become severely damaged because it is based on scholarship and not Spiritual growth. In most churches, a degree is required over Christian maturity! This is maddening!

    Does seminary grant Spiritual Maturity and a closer walk with God? NO! This explains the challenge we are seeing of technically proficient pastor who are Spiritually absent. They teach a Gospel they do not comprehend in the hearts.

    Christian leadership needs to be developed within the body and not from some outside source. With proper discipleship, there is no need! Did the Galatians send off for seminary graduates? NO – they apprenticed themselves to Godly men. Did Paul write Timothy and explain that an elder must have at least an M.Div in order to teach the congregation? NO – Paul was more concerned about CHARACTER.

    Is seminary wrong? No, there can be some very good things from an academic point of view. But I dare say academics don’t win people to Christ – relationship and discipleship does. Is it good to know the Greek? You bet – it always helps to have more knowledge. Is it required? No, we must also learn to listen to the Author of Scripture Who dwells within us – The Holy Spirit – no to the exclusion of scholarship, but for illumination.

    We are called to make Disciples. Disciples make other disciples! So in order to have proper Christian leadership, we should always be advancing in our Scriptural knowledge and applying it to our lives. God wants His Bride healthy and vibrant – that is best done through organic, intentional, and relational discipleship.


  • August 10, 2009 at 9:53 am


    As always you nailed it.
    I just read a terrific article in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care Journal where the author John Coe cautions that the biggest hindrance to bringing a Spiritual Theology and praxis to the church is potentially the LIFE of the pastor.

    The second reformation/revolution would be greatly aided if in the seminary pastors were encouraged in the contemplative life so they could begin to understand how they are made, how they work, i.e. why they think and feel what they do, why they make the choices they make, etc.

    Currently as you say the avg. pastor does not want to touch Spiritual Formation and Soul Care for they would be BUSTED if anyone looked at their current practices.

    Please note I am not gloating about this!!!! This is horrific! We need to start CARING about this within our pastors in a loving and teaching way that helps everyone move forward.


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