As a leader you have heard, as I have, the cry for more leaders. I have never been in a church or worked with an organization that had all the leaders that they were both wanting and needing. Additionally, those in leadership want maturing leaders who can carry increasing levels of responsibility. A question that may be asked is why are there not more mature and maturing leaders? We have aspiring leaders who are well-taught and well-informed but are not as spiritually mature as they could or should be: WHY?
There is an equation we have been working with for a good many years that is not accurate and is flawed. It is that Information equals transformation. Using maturing leadership as an example, we have for years believed that if we teach leaders the right things and put the right information into their hands they will grow and mature. May I lovingly challenge this thinking and say it just ain’t so?
We have worked with a knowledge-based leadership model instead of an obedience-based leadership model. Just because a potential leader knows a lot and can spit out the right answers to important questions, doesn’t mean they are maturing. Maturity for a leader, or for any Christ-follower for that matter, is always about responding to what we know through simple steps of obedience. Jesus taught this idea. In John 13:17 where he says you are blessed not because of what you know, but because of what you do with what you know. The man who built his house on the sand was a person who listened but didn’t do (Matthew 7:24-27.) His tragic error was not a lack of knowledge but a lack of responsive obedience.
Here’s the formula I’m currently thinking about and working with that I think is more biblical and will give us the kind of leaders we desperately need today
Information + contemplation + conversation + application =transformation
I’m not saying that gaining and receiving “Information” is wrong, but simply that it’s not enough and will not, in and of itself, result in transformation. We need to “think” about what we are learning and then we should have conversations with others to expand and develop our understanding of the information received.
After spending adequate time contemplating and conversing with a community group or some close friends we can ask ourselves what the Holy spirit is saying to us in this information which we have thought about, prayed about and discussed; and then ask ourselves what he wants us to do? What we truly need is not more knowing, but more going!
The question becomes, what will I do with what I have learned? Where do I need to repent, to begin something, to stop something, to reconcile to someone, to step out in faith? Years ago I learned some simple questions in responding to God: S P E A K
From information I have received, regardless of where it came from, I should ask:
S- What sin Is there to confess?
P-What principle/practice is there to use?
E-What example is there to follow or avoid?
A-What action is there to take
K-What knowledge is there to apply?
How will I respond to what God has made clear to me? As I think, discuss and apply then I will experience transformation. My own personal journey and observations made have led me to the conclusion that most leaders are moving too fast, trying to do too much and are not allowing time to truly think and discuss content received whether it comes through books, podcasts, online sources, sermons, social media or our own time in God’s Word. Stop the carousel! Prayerfully think, discuss and apply. Then you will see the Holy Spirit bring transformation to you so you can mature into the leader God has in mind for YOU!