Developing Yourself as a Leader

A Three-Fold Process Of Leadership Development

Hebrews 13:7 – “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.”

According to this verse, what are the things that aspiring leaders do?

  1. They call to remembrance the example of former leaders who’ve impacted their own lives.
  2. They are men of the Book of God. They are not only burdened to know it for themselves, but to communicate its truths to others.
  3. Consider… They spend time in meditation and reflection upon what other leaders have done to facilitate their own growth in grace and resolve to do the same for others.
  4. This passage does not call aspiring/emerging leaders to imitate other leaders, but it challenges us to imitate the faith of those who led us. Why is this important?

Key Question: What is your personal plan on how you are going to grow as a leader this Fall?

  • Personal formation – The process by which we align our lives and character with the Word of God. “Considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith” (Hebrews 13:7c). The leaders of these early Hebrew Christians left a legacy worth following: godly conduct and great faith. Perhaps the chief of these leaders would be the Apostle Paul. Charles Spurgeon, the English pastor of the 19th century, has wisely declared that “it would be greatly for the profit of us all if we chose our leaders rather by their piety than by their cleverness” (Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, vol. 2, p.241). It is character, not competency, that counts most when it comes to serving as a leader in Christ’s church.

 Questions: What one thing is God asking me to do in order to stretch my capacity to trust Him? Is there one character flaw in my life that I want to see God change?

  • Theological formation. The process whereby we structure our thinking according to God’s Word and pursue the mind of Christ. What did these first century leaders do for these Jewish believers? They spoke the Word of God to them (13:7b). The word for “speak” here means to use words in order to declare one’s mind and disclose one’s thoughts.” In order to do this well, we must know what we believe and why?

Question: What one subject or area of theology am I weak in and to which I need to give concerted study and attention?

  • Leadership skills formation. The process by which we begin learning the requisite abilities and practical skills for leading God’s people well. “Remember those who led you” (13:7a). Before you can lead others, you must learn to manage yourself.

Question: What one leadership skill do I need to cultivate most in my life right now?

A Few Distinguishing Features of Christ-likeness

Below are a few thoughts gleaned from James I. Packer in CRUX, the periodical of Regent College in Vancouver, Canada.

“With God’s blessing of our efforts, what kind of Christians will be formed by the kind of adult catechesis that we have in mind in our church community?  Catechesis is a word that summaries the whole process of teaching, discipleship and spiritual formation.

Answer: Christians whose lives display the following features:

Doxology, the habit taught and modeled by Paul of constantly praising God and giving him thanks;

Humility, the downward growth that comes by dwelling on the free, boundless,, almighty grace of God that achieves the salvation of sinners, including oneself, through the atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ;

Generosity, the whole-hearted giving of oneself and one’s resources in order to show love and render service both to God and to others;

Honesty, the refusal to cut moral corners, practice deception or come to terms with injustice;

Intensity, a spirit that rejects euphoric sloth and laziness in favor of maximum effort to further God’s cause, extend Christ’s kingdom, and make the Savior known, and that goes flat out with an eye on the goal as one does when running a race;

Bravery, which, though sometimes trembling in its shoes, stands firm for Christ against all forms of opposition, belittling and ridicule; and

Solidarity with the church, both worldwide and local, the people of God who are the body and bride of Christ and one’s one spiritual family, so that one never wanders off into any form of churchless individualism, as if one were the only pebble on God’s beach.”

  •  From the periodical CRUX, Spring 2007, vol. 43. no. 1, p. 6.

Here are a few questions that I have been asking myself:

Which of these features is most absent from my life right now? In order words, where do I need to grow the most? What is my specific action plan to do so?

Secondly, where does our church body need to grow the most? Which of these features needs the most shoring up at Trinity? What is our plan to help our church not only grow in that particular feature but also in each of these features of Christlikeness?