If you have spent time reading leadership books of any stripes in the last 15 years, you will know that words like “culture”, “360 degree feedback”, “team”, “vision”, “clear objectives and goals” and “mentoring” are hot concepts leaders have been challenged to use to grow their organizations. While my own leadership capacity has improved reading about these concepts from Christian and non Christian leaders like Andy Stanley, Jim Collins, Bill Hybels, J. Oswald Sanders, John Maxell, and Robert Clinton to name a few, I have also recently been challenged by a gifted pastor about a lost leadership value in the church: discipleship.
His case is that many Christian leaders are neglecting the meaning, intent, and purpose of discipleship in their churches. The word disciple comes from a Greek word meaning “pupil”, or “learner”. Jesus clearly equipped and expected his disciples to make learners who make learners (Matthew 28: 18 – 20). Do Christians see themselves as disciples and are they actively discipling others? If so, what does it look like? If not, why?
In a conversation with another Anglican leader this week, I asked him how many Bishops and senior Rectors in the Anglican Church he thought are actively making disciples amidst all their other responsibilities. In other words, are the leaders of our movement modeling, talking about, and equipping Anglicans to be disciples and to disciple others? He didn’t know. I don’t either, other than knowing I am not sure I understand the concept well much less practice it.
So what does discipleship look like and how can we start to practice it more and more in the church, starting with us leaders?
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About the ResBlog
Members of staff and Vestry will be posting on the ResBlog to help us think through who we are in light of the gospel so that we might “spur one another on to love and good deeds.”