Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World


Written by: on October 24, 2013

The Leadership Mystique by de Vries is a thorough psychoanalysis of leaders, followers and organizations and reads like a companion guide to the DSMV IV. Though this kind of leadership book is probably not read by many (it’s the first of its kind for me), I think many would find it interesting. It gives an intriguing glimpse into what makes people tick and how we as leaders can bring the best out of people and also deal with the change that is constantly required in today’s fast paced and diverse world.


The church I’m serving in, Second Baptist, is 130 years old. I love being on staff there. Being 130 years old is a testament to God’s faithfulness, and the churches willingness to embrace, at least to a degree, change. After all, we don’t dress like it’s the late 1800’s nor do we share the exact same organizational or theological values of those that started Second Baptist. But, being 130 years old also brings with it a unique set of challenges, namely that we often have a ‘way’ that we think things should be viewed or done. It can be easy for us to fall captive to past ways of thinking and doing that may hold the church back from experiencing something new, vital and life giving.

In de Vries seventh chapter, he deals with both personal and organizational change. I’ll elaborate on two key points that stand out to me.

1. De Vries writes, “People have to be affected in both the head and the heart. Intellectually, they need to see the advantages that a change effort will bring, but cognition alone isn’t enough. They need to also be touched emotionally” (pg 137). This seems really simple, and it is, but I need to relearn this! I can get so frustrated when cognition alone isn’t enough to bring about change, maybe that’s because touching on the emotional side of seems manipulative. But, God created us with both minds AND hearts. To engage the heart more, I need to use the power of story. I had a keen sense of the power of story while listening to Steve Chalke during our D.Min. London Advance. Story has the ability to shape the heart in a way that facts and intellectualism never will. Unfortunately, I’m not a great storyteller, but I think that needs to change.

2. De Vries also writes, “Keep the discomfort at a tolerable level; otherwise, through fear, people may tune out the problems or they may leave”(pg 150). I thought this was pretty simple and obvious. But, it’s something I have a tendency to overlook. I want to get to a place as fast as possible because I can see the potential of what lies at the end. I also don’t want to waste unnecessary time and energy on things that, I don’t think, matter. BUT, I need to realize that getting there is, or should be, half the fun. I need to take time and celebrate the successes and allow people to continually opt into the change process. Doing so will hopefully ensure that everyone stayed with us.

The old adage of, ‘the only thing constant is change itself,’ seems more applicable in today’s understanding and expression of church than ever. I have to expect change, and I need to become an expert in change. Doing so will allow me to effectively lead in an era where change is one of the only truly constant things.

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Chris Ellis

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