Developing Leaders – Part 1

Part 1. Do you see what I see?

A valid paraphrase of Isaiah 60:5 from the Authorised Version is, “Those that see together flow together.” When building a team of leaders, it may seem like stating the obvious to point out that a clear vision and shared goals are a vital part of the “seeing together” process. Without them, a team has no motivation or direction. But it is my observation that too few church leadership teams exist in a form that will enable the group of people they serve to come to maturity in Christ. Why do I believe this?

1. There are still far too many one-man-band leadership models where, though a team might exist around them, one person holds sway over all strategy and decision making. Three problems arise from this:

  • It creates a decision-making bottleneck that will limit progress.
  • It stifles team synergy and creativity and shows no regard for the development of other team members
  • If the leader is removed from the equation, an immediate power vacuum will be created.

2. Some leaders, recognising the limitations of the one-man-band model have sought to involve as many people as possible in multiple areas of ministry, misguidedly thinking they are building a team. But without the basic building blocks required for team, all that develops is a mish-mash of well-intentioned enthusiasts.

Team essentials

What then are the basic building blocks? What makes a great team and how do we build one? We will explore these issues over a series of blog posts. For now I would like to state one essential component:

Imagine a skilled bricklayer. A conscientious man, a true craftsman who is both fast and reliable. These are admirable qualities. But just because a man possesses these qualities, we shouldn’t make the mistake of assuming he has the capability of project managing a multi-million pound development. This task calls for a seasoned developer/project manager who may have little or no bricklaying skills, but who knows how to run a site development efficiently and effectively.

Similarly, in order to build a great team we need the insight of apostolically gifted people capable of “reading the plans” in harmony with God’s will. Leaders with a prophetic edge who can see where we need to be in the future and what we need to do in order to get there. Leaders who can rally together the right mix of gifts into a real team. But not just a group of gifted people. A group of people who see the same thing and can flow together to achieve it.