Do You Want to Grow as a Leader?

GROW By Ron Edmondson

Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Check out his blog at: http://www.ronedmondson.com

This article is taken from the Acts 29 blog site at http://acts29-today.blogspot.com/

Do you want to grow as a leader? Do you want to keep growing?

Here are seven sure ways to grow as a leader:

1. Desire growth Sounds simple, but we tend to seek what we desire most. If you truly want to grow as a leader you will continually find ways to do so. Check your heart. Do you really desire to grow as a leader?

2. Accept correction No one enjoys hearing they did something wrong, but many leaders view all correction as criticism rather than an opportunity to grow. Growing leaders realize that correction helps them improve so they can do better next time. (Proverbs 12:1) Check yourself. Can you take correction, even when it stings a little to hear, and turn it into something good?

3. Listen to wiser voices Experience is the best teachers. And, all of us are surrounded by people who have grown wise through their experiences. Growing leaders glean all they can from other people. Would others consider you a wisdom seeker? Can you name specifically the voices you are learning from these days?

4. Invest in others Growing leaders learn or reinforce leadership principles while helping others learn them. Sometimes it is not until we talk through an issue with others that we find clarity in the issue ourselves. (“Give and it will be given back to you”…) Ask yourself…Am I helping to grow other leaders? Am I allowing others to learn from my experience? Coul you name those people if asked?

5. Recognize weaknesses And strengths. When you become more aware of what you do well and what you don’t, you grow as a leader. You start investing more energy in the strengths and seek to minimize the weaknesses. Can you admit there are some things you simply aren’t good at doing? Are you confident enough to recognize your strengths?

6. Refuse mediocrity Growing leaders push themselves beyond the limits of normalcy. Average is common. Exceptional takes work. Are you seeking to go beyond what’s expected? Are you holding yourself to standards nothing short of your very best? (Isn’t that even Biblical?…”Whatever you do…do as if unto the Lord”.)

7. Embrace failure Falling dow. Getting back up. Falling down. Getting back up. Growing leaders have learned this is a part of maturing as a leader. In honest evaluation, would you say you have allowed failure to shape you as a leader, or hold you back from all you could be as a leader?

I am certainly not suggesting this is an exhaustive list. I am advocating that growing as a leader requires intentionality on the part of the leader. It doesn’t automatically happen.

What are you doing to grow as a leader these days?

My Name is Pride. I am a Cheater.

My name is Pride.  I am a cheater.

I cheat you of your God-given destiny... because you demand your own way.
I cheat you of contentment... because you "deserve better than this."

I cheat you of knowledge... because you already know it all.
I cheat you of healing... because you're too full of me to forgive.
I cheat you of holiness... because you refuse to admit when you're wrong.
I cheat you of vision... because you'd rather look in the mirror than out a window.
I cheat you of genuine friendship... because nobody's going to know the real you.
I cheat you of love... because real romance demands sacrifice.
I cheat you of greatness in heaven... because you refuse to wash another's feet on earth.
I cheat you of God's glory... because I convince you to seek your own.
My name is Pride.  I am a cheater.
You like me because you think I'm always looking out for you.  Untrue. I'm looking to make a fool of you.
God has so much for you, I admit, but don't worry... If you stick with me you'll never know.

(by Beth Moore)

What Is The Need For Discipleship?

There is a great need... need for people who are morally pure... need for people to rethink and reshape what they believe and practice on kingdom principles... need for people who are passionate to spend time with Jesus... need for people who know how to disciple others...and do it! need for people who take initiative to share the gospel... and go for it! need for people who are not spiritual orphans...who know where they belong, who are faithful, and who are fruitful...

Churches are filled with spiritual orphans. A spiritual orphan is a Jesus follower who doesn't belong to a church family with a spiritual father or mother to disciple them. Spiritual orphans:

- become independent - carry rejection spirit - are spiritually isolated - don't know how to father or mother others - bounce from one spiritual family to another

Spiritual orphans run to other orphans to find out who they are, reinforcing in one another the worst traits of emotionally and spiritually disconnected people.

How do you get people free from spiritual orphanhood?

Invite them relationally to move from:

- Move from distant discipling, being "discipled" by a Christian celebrity through their books or music. The danger: it's not up close & real, haphazard, produces isolation, independence, super-spirituality, blind spots, lack of accountability and genuine community.

- Move from occasional discipling, the inconsistent hit and miss kind of discipleship. The danger: it's too infrequent, with different people you get different foundations, and selective accountability.

- Move to intentional discipling in a church family - blessing: clear goals for personal growth, accountability, spiritual depth, open to others in the body of Christ, strong foundations, reproducing fruit naturally

Right and wrong questions to ask about your church:

1. Wrong questions...How can I get people to be more faithful to my church? How can I grow my church bigger? How can I get people to volunteer and be faithful? How big is your church?

Discipleship in a local church is not a program for church growth.

2. Right questions... How can I disciple people to Christ? What is the process for building foundations and freedom in people's lives? How can we disciple people to make disciples in the harvest, who disciple others also?

What you measure in your church determines what you build in your church. Do you measure "disciples who obey" or "people who attend"? Do you disciple people to Christ or to your church?

Discipleship defined = it is intentional relationship. There needs to be a clearly defined process for discipling your people, simple and reproducible. Don't put pressure on yourself to disciple everyone, just those who want to be discipled. In every congregation there are crowds, curious, and the committed. Focus on the committed while you keep challenging the curious and inviting the crowds to more.

Give 80% of your time to the 20% who are most serious about obeying and reproducing. Most pastors do the opposite, and burn out because of it. They give 80% of their time and energy to the 20% who are least serious and most noisy and demanding.