Missional Leadership VI: Leadership Development

Posted: May 2, 2013 in Leadership, missional, Missions
Tags: , ,

Part 6 of reflections from a class on “Missional Leadership,” taught by Dr. Reggie McNeal at Columbia International University.

A huge part of encouraging and facilitating movement is multiplying and developing leaders who multiply and develop other leaders. It’s this kind of reproducing development that promotes movement – in all areas, really, but especially in missions. Thankfully, there are many different methods of training leaders, from the very formal seminary setting to the very informal occasional mentoring of an emerging leader. Rather than argue over which is better, I think each setting can best address certain areas, while not doing so well in others.

Dr. McNeal listed four areas of leadership development:

  1. Paradigm – vision, mission, how people see the world
  2. Micro-skill – team-building, listening, communication skills, conflict management, recruiting, leading a meeting – among many others
  3. Resource development – how we use prayer, time, finances, etc.
  4. Spiritual formation – judgment, marriage, emotional intelligence

Dr. McNeal was very clear in stating that leadership development, in movement, is not about helping people learn to do their church job better. To be honest, if we want movement, we need a different kind of leader than most church leaders tend to be. I need to be more intentional in focusing on all these areas in people development. I tend to focus most on micro-skills and spiritual formation, but I think the primary focus might need to be in the paradigm area – helping Polish people see the world differently, especially in the light of some of the shifts that Dr. McNeal mentioned earlier (my posts 2 and 3.)

The course in Missional Leadership prompted me to think through several areas, and to set some goals to enable me to move in the direction of apostolic, movement-oriented leadership – not just for myself, but promoting that kind of leadership in Poland. Two questions serve as starting points as I try to think about a leadership culture change:

1. How can we address those aspects of leadership development that are missing for apostolic leaders?

  1. How do we decrease denominationalism?
  2. How do we Increase Kingdom-centricity?
  3. How can I help leaders develop and release other leaders?
  4. How can I help leaders become better team players?

2. How can we change the language to better encourage missional thinking and discussion?

In my opinion, changing the language is one of the key ways to begin changing a culture. Of course, I’m not referring to introducing English words into Polish, or changing Polish culture to be more American. I’m trying to figure out how in a Polish context, we can change the leadership culture. Hence, in Polish, how can we change the language to promote Kingdom-centricity, releasing other leaders, etc.?

The Polish language does not use articles, so saying “the Church” looks and sounds the same as saying “a church.” However, most evangelical groups use another word entirely to say church. This word means “assembly,” but it is really understood only by Protestants, and a few Catholics who have had contact with Protestants. Other questions arise: how would we say “missional” in Polish? Of course, the word itself matters much less than the concept.  I think missional would be the same word as missionary, just used as an adjective. Then of course – what would that mean for Poles, to hear about “missionary communities” in their midst?

Missional Leadership I

Missional Leadership II

Missional Leadership III

Missional Leadership IV: A Preparedness Mentality

Missional Leadership V: Keeping Score

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