Leaders as Change-Agents Part 5

What do leaders bring to the table to help put the supremacy of God at the heart of all church life and church activities?

1. The leader's life. This is the big different and addition to secular leadership models. In the world we incentivise change with remuneration. In the church we do it with godly role modelling. Timothy and Epaphroditus are used in Philippians 2 as the examples of godly discipleship and behaviour. Paul is unafraid to say "follow me as I follow Christ." The most important element in what a change-bringing leader does is what is that leader like?

2. Aligning motives to Christ. Our identity is deeply rooted in Christ. "I no longer live but it is Christ who lives in me." Unless leaders and congregation are saying a whole-hearted amen to that then change to bring motives in line with Christ is impossible. There are two key elements in such aligning of motives:

(a) a clear view of Jesus in the Bible; of what he calls us to to do; a deep desire to humble ourselves and do what he does. Because a willingness to accept the cost of carrying the cross means we have already accepted the sacrifice that change requires

(b) a clear view of other people - especially leaders - who are sacrificially following Christ on whom we can model our discipleship

3. Clear discernment. Leaders bring analysis of the situation that is readily graspable

4. A knowledge of the means at the churches disposal to bring change, and to bring it positively rather than negatively

5. Good communication of vision so that there is a growing sense of stakeholding and teamwork. This is hard when people have been allowed to join the congregation with no sense of team or purpose, no connection to vision and values

6. An ability to structurally organise the church around vision. It is no good for a church to have a great mission statement but assume that it just happens because we have a good mission statement. No, we have to organise around the mission statement for it to have any concrete reality

7. An ability to apply the consequences of vision to every area of church life, evaluating every area according to vision. This is usually the stumbling block because you have to introduce evaluative processes to an informal culture which isn't used to them.  And you will need to stop doing things that don't meet the vision, but those things will be emotionally important to some people in the church