A Desire To Encourage Growth And Development Theology Religion Essay Example
A Desire To Encourage Growth And Development Theology Religion Essay Example

A Desire To Encourage Growth And Development Theology Religion Essay Example

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  • Pages: 13 (3358 words)
  • Published: September 23, 2017
  • Type: Article
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During the Second World War, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill recognized the importance of boosting the morale of the British people. He prioritized this task by stepping aside from important cabinet discussions and instead spending time on the radio delivering speeches to the nation. Adapting different leadership styles in different situations is not inherently manipulative; on the contrary, it allows people the freedom to gain confidence and take on new responsibilities. For example, consider teaching someone how to drive. Initially, the teacher must provide precise and structured instructions. However, as the student becomes more confident, they may only need a review of learning points after a drive.

The situational leadership model revolves around adjusting leadership style to suit each situation.

Leadership Character: In this section, we will examine seven traits of Christian leaders:
- Humility and authority in utilizing e


ntrusted power.
- Trustworthiness and integrity.
- A willingness to empower others rather than clinging to positions of power.
- A desire to promote growth and development in others.
- A leadership style that seeks to serve and love others and God.
- Understanding God's calling in their future vision.

The practice of prayer in one's life is an active practice. The first four leaders mentioned are not exclusive practitioners of Christianity, and the fifth can be partly found in non-Christian leaders as well.The final two leaders are exclusively Christian.The distinctive Christian manner of leading is a combination of seven qualities. This type of leadership requires self-awareness and self-denying love, which can only be found in mature individuals. Each leader should be examined individually. According to Malcolm Grundy's book "What's New in Church Leadership?", secular leaders focus on developing their position, power, and influence. They

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value the privileges that come with their position, such as luxury cars and high-end offices furnished with expensive furniture. However, Jesus modeled humility, which is the opposite of desiring place, power, and position. Even Christian leaders are not immune to these temptations and must address any improper feelings or actions that may arise from their positions of authority. In a culture where ministers or priests may dress differently and hold distinguished positions within the church, it is crucial to reflect the humility taught by Jesus. Trustworthiness and integrity are also important aspects for leaders. Many people attend church but limit their involvement to simple tasks. God desires us to have trust in Him and within our church community at a high levelWe have confidence in God because He has promised to never forsake or abandon us. This assurance enables us to boldly declare, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear" (Hebrews 13:6). Our trust in God should be evident to others, encouraging them to also place their trust in Him. In addition to relying on God, leaders must demonstrate their own trustworthiness. Not only does God prove His faithfulness, but He also chooses to entrust us with responsibility. As Tom Marshall explains, "God's trust is genuine; it is a deliberate choice He has made and a vulnerability He has embraced." Trustworthy individuals must live lives of integrity. If there is a disconnect between our public and private lives, it will eventually become unmanageable and undermine our credibility as leaders. Unfortunately, many Christian leaders have been exposed for their misconduct in personal matters, resulting in a loss of faith and confidence from the public.

Some people idolize leaders while others revel in tearing them down. The only solution lies in surrendering ourselves to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, allowing God complete control over our time, finances, and desires (6.Avis Paul, Authority, Leadership and Conflict in the Church 89). Often, leaders abuse the power that comes with their position of authority. The satisfaction derived from exerting influence and making decisions that impact others can become addictive. This can lead to an excessive amount of control and an exaggerated focus on the leader's own authority.
Christian leaders need to develop personal strength and humility in order to lead based on their natural abilities rather than relying solely on their position (3). Within the church, it is essential to recognize and encourage leadership qualities in different individuals instead of giving one person complete control over operations. This is particularly evident when considering that leadership is just one aspect considered when selecting church leaders. Therefore, leaders should actively seek out and delegate leadership responsibilities to others when appropriate. Furthermore, exceptional leaders strive to promote growth and development in others by finding ways to cultivate their successors' talents and ensure they excel even more than their predecessors. This requires identifying potential in others and nurturing and enhancing their abilities. A notable characteristic of such leaders is their ability to manage diversity and strengths in others with maturity.
Those being led are not weaker individuals but rather individuals with unique talents that complement each other, empowering them to reach their full potential. David Ogilvy, a manager at an advertising agency, famously emphasized the importance of hiring individuals who are more capable than oneself as it leads

a company towards greatness. Additionally, a leadership style grounded in love and service for both others and God is foundational for Christian leadership.Servant leadership is the foundation of this approach, setting it apart from mere servanthood. All Christians are called to serve one another, following Jesus' example of washing his disciples' feet and loving our neighbors as ourselves. This call to serve also includes receiving from Jesus, just as he served his disciples. Servant leadership goes beyond external actions; it considers the motivation behind our actions. Despite having the choice not to come into the world or possess a servant heart, that was not Jesus' true purpose in coming here. In Gethsemane's garden, Jesus prayed for God's will to be done even though carrying the burden of our guilt and sins became overwhelming. Even then, Jesus could have walked away but chose not to. Servant leadership requires us to make sacrifices and prioritize others' needs over our own preferences. Having a vision for the future is based on understanding God's purpose. One crucial responsibility of leaders is ensuring that a church shares a common vision for its future. However, a shared vision differs significantly from a leader's personal vision communicated to the church.
A charismatic leader has the ability to persuade others to follow their vision. However, there is a risk that the leader will end up alone in their bold journey into the future while others simply watch. Therefore, it is important for individual visions to come together and be expressed collectively as a shared vision. A shared vision intertwines common passion, energy, and spiritual direction to create a powerful force within the church. Maintaining

an active prayer life is crucial in this process.

Jesus frequently emphasized the importance of prayer in his teachings to his disciples. They would have been grateful for this guidance after his Ascension as they struggled to make sense of their situation. On the day of Pentecost, Peter was prepared and able to confidently speak with accuracy because he had been guided by words from the Spirit through prayer. His leadership on that day serves as an example of true Spirit-led leadership that can only emerge through prayer.

The text emphasizes that prayer is significant in understanding God's call and way. It highlights that without prayer, any future vision proposed for the church will solely reflect human desires. The text also draws attention to the importance of spending quality time with God, just as Jesus did.The text emphasizes that it is difficult and potentially pointless to separate Jesus' leadership style from the rest of his ministry. True leadership cannot be detached from a leader's personality, character, or activities. Multiple sources are cited to support this viewpoint. The importance of unity and consistency in our behavior and decisions is also highlighted in the text. It states that these factors determine our integrity in daily life. Furthermore, consistency should not rely on the day of the week or our moods and emotions. God desires complete trust and reliance on Him, as He promises to always be with us and never abandon us (Hebrews 13:6). We are encouraged to trust wholeheartedly in the Lord and not lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). Trusting God should inspire us to cultivate trust within Christian families as well. Effective leadership is crucial

for leaders as they need a clear vision for their organization's future. Without a vision, organizations will remain stagnant and eventually fail (Proverbs 29:18). For Christian organizations, this vision should originate from God. The first step is spending time in prayer, seeking guidance from the Lord. Clarity on what God is calling the church to do and be can be obtained through prayer. Additionally, God communicates with us through personal experiences, the Bible, words, and imagesIt is crucial for the church to unite and discern God's vision for them, as well as determine how each member can contribute to bringing that vision into fruition in the future (Billie Davis, People, Tasks, and Goals). Through prayer, the members should seek God's guidance and revelation regarding His direction and vision for the church in the years ahead. Each individual should then write a concise draft outlining what they believe God is calling the group to do (Gerald P Fogarty, Patterns of Episcopal Leadership). These drafts should be shared among the group members (Linda F Williams, We Shall Overcome), followed by more prayerful reflection on which ideas align with God's will and which stem from human desires (Rowland Forman, The Leadership Baton).The church should openly discuss and move forward if there is agreement on the vision, or repeat the process if there is disagreement. It is important to share and develop the vision with the wider community, encouraging them to believe, reflect, and pray about it. The vision may need adjustments as the entire community embraces it for themselves. Taking action is crucial for a vision to be helpful to the church or to God, but turning a

vision into reality can be difficult. Spending time with a small leadership group is a first step in exploring ways to make the vision a reality. Although individual leaders or small groups usually discern the initial vision for a church or organization, it must be shared and developed by a larger group of people in order for it to become real. This allows the church or organization to truly embrace the vision as their own. According to Robert Warren, "The Holy Spirit has been at work in society, making it more participative. Therefore, people will not embrace a vision unless they have had a hand in shaping it." To determine if members have truly adopted the vision for themselves, three simple checks can be used: 31.
In his book "In Pursuit of Great AND Godly Leadership", Mike Bonem emphasizes the importance for team leaders to acknowledge and be aware of the diversity within their team. By being open to different perspectives and visions from individuals of other cultures, leaders can unlock the power of diversity. It is crucial for leaders to value and appreciate the unique skills and talents that each team member brings, regardless of their cultural background, as every gift is from a higher source. However, it is common for leaders to fall into the trap of valuing certain gifts over others, especially those that are similar to our own or from people we know and love.

John R W Stott's book "Christian Leadership" suggests two approaches to shaping societal values. The first approach involves living distinctively Christian lifestyles, serving as "salt and light" in the world (Mt 5:13,14), in order to influence those around

us and the values adopted by our communities, regardless of culture. The second approach involves directly challenging a particular value, decision, or priority that the Christian community believes is inappropriate. This may require a more structured and focused campaign.

According to Donal Dorr's book "Faith at Work", delegation is a crucial skill for squad leaders as it helps increase a squad's success and capacity for accomplishment. However, letting go of control can be challenging for leaders.When delegating tasks, it is crucial to provide context and ensure that the work is understood and energizes the receivers. Motivation to complete delegated tasks comes from understanding how they contribute to the overall success of the team. Delegating responsibility is relatively easy, but delegating authority can be more challenging as it requires releasing control over team activities and having confidence in individuals. Without necessary authority and decision-making power, people are not empowered to complete their given tasks, which is particularly important in a voluntary organization.

It is important to continue providing support during the delegation process, especially in the beginning stages. Individuals may require assistance, skill development, and encouraging feedback as they take on new responsibilities. Prayer support also plays a crucial role.

Delegation should only happen when appropriate.Ensure clear and consistent communication within the team regarding responsibilities. Evaluate the team structure to determine suitable tasks for delegation based on individuals' skills. It is important that recipients of delegation have necessary skills, information, authority, and capability to carry out tasks, as lack of these may lead to unfinished work and decreased motivation. In a team setting, it is crucial to consider suitability for delegation based on skills rather than culture. Managing conflict

is a natural part of teamwork but unresolved conflict can hinder productivity. Referencing Acts 15 as an example of successful conflict resolution, here is a five-step process: 1) Pray for guidance in understanding reasons behind conflict and needs of those involved. 2) Thoroughly research each other's positions while attentively listening to perspectives, considering that personal differences and needs may be at the core of the conflict.When seeking potential solutions, it is important to collaborate and focus on shared goals such as glorifying God, achieving team objectives, and ensuring each other's happiness. Evaluating these solutions together is more effective than using the media. Praying together can also be a powerful way to seek understanding, as stated in the Bible verse "I will listen to what God, the Lord will say, he promises peace to his people, his saints." (Psalm 85:8) It is crucial to expel any remaining bitterness and make peace with others (Matthew 5:24). Jesus understood the limited time He had on Earth and knew that His disciples needed to learn quickly in order to continue building His church after He was gone. Throughout the Gospels, we see examples of His training and teaching. His goal was for the disciples' ministry to be as fruitful as His own and even greater (John 14:12). The disciples were instructed to spread the Gospel worldwide, reaching people from different cultures. Coaching and mentoring play important roles in personal development. Just like our spirit, mind, and body are involved in personal development, it also includes spiritual growth, Christian understanding, and practical ministry. In each case of personal development or growth within individuals' lives or ministries facilitated by leaders brings

interaction between individuals and the Holy Spirit into focus. Mentoring allows individuals to gain wisdom from others' experiences while focusing on values and holistic personal growth.Coaching is task-oriented and involves offering personalized assistance to individuals in utilizing their talents and gifts within the church ministry. Encouraging Prayer focuses on developing the prayer lives of leaders as they seek and pursue God's vision for their churches. Common methods include using church prayer groups and house groups, but it is crucial to provide guidance rather than leaving individuals to figure it out themselves. Suggestions for supporting prayer encompass providing prayer books in the church's lending library or bookshop, regularly promoting prayer through announcements or personal references, and organizing groups that explore different approaches to prayer while facilitating communal prayer opportunities. It is important for Sunday morning worship to incorporate regular intervals of prayer instead of solely relying on one person leading the prayers. Additionally, it would be beneficial for either a single church or a group of churches to incorporate a day dedicated solely to prayer, which includes elements such as teaching, silent contemplation, and group prayer. Including a recurring series on prayer in the church magazine along with specific topics for people to pray for can offer individuals an inviting opportunity to consider various approaches to praying. Support and encouragement are necessary within the church's prayer meetings to prevent them from losing focus or direction over time.There is a risk that individuals who are not part of the prayer group may feel exempt from the responsibility to pray for the church because there is already a designated group meeting for this purpose. However, prayer groups do

not have to meet indefinitely. Groups formed for specific events, campaigns, or areas can meet for a defined period and then disband. For example, a group formed to pray for a specific activity can meet before, during, and after the event and express gratitude before disbanding. Churches have the option to offer various times and locations for prayer groups. Some people prefer larger group meetings while others prefer smaller groups of three or four. Additionally, some individuals prefer morning prayer meetings while others cannot leave their homes in the evenings. Alternatively, a prayer breakfast can also be organized.

Robert Clinton discusses challenges of apostolic leadership in 1 and 2 Corinthians (Altadena, Barnabas Publishers, 2003, p.67), while Neil Cole explores the path to significance in Journeys to Significance (Chichester, John Wiley and Sons Ltd., 2011, pp.34-38). Jonathan Gledhill addresses leading a local church in the age of the spirit (London SPCK Publishing 2003); Arthur G Patzia discusses emergence of church (Nottingham Inter-Varsity Press 2011 p76) and John Hiigel examines leadership in 1 Corinthians (New York The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd., 2003 pp45-50).

Prayer walking offers a unique approach to praying for a neighborhoodOne way to bring prayer into communities is by individuals praying as they walk around the parish or participating in organized prayer runs for specific streets and locations. Church leaders can also take their prayer ministry into the communities they serve, which can be beneficial. Providing guidance to "praying families" on goals and specific prayers for the strategy can be helpful, even with just a few families participating, as it covers an entire area in prayer. This type of strategy also presents an excellent opportunity for

churches in a particular area to come together, increasing the number of Christians living there and strengthening the strategy. When individuals from different cultures gather to pray, it helps build and strengthen the church while allowing members to pray for one another regardless of their culture.

There are two approaches to shaping values in society. Sometimes, the Christian community may feel compelled to address a specific value, decision, or priority embraced by society. However, on a daily basis, Christians can influence values by adopting a distinctively Christian approach in their interactions with others in their everyday lives. This concept is referred to as being "salt and light" in the world (Mt 5:13-14). Jesus emphasizes that his followers have both authority and responsibility to be influencers in the worldJesus states that "You are the salt of the Earth" and compares believers to light for the world. By starting with us, Jesus suggests that we have the power and duty to be influencers in the world. The metaphor of light shining on dark things exposes what is there, calling the church to challenge evil within our society, regardless of discomfort. Undoubtedly, there are many other qualities that could make a person a successful leader if they possess them. These thoughts came to mind as I pondered this topic. While each quality may not stand out individually, developing them fully will make leaders more powerful and fruitful. It is important to emphasize that true spiritual leadership comes from the inner circle and begins with recognizing our sinfulness and need for a Savior. This recognition compels us to listen to God through His Word and seek help and insight through

prayer. Trusting in God's promises allows us to live a life of love and service, ultimately causing people to witness and give glory to our Heavenly Father.

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