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

Does Leadership Matter?

Written by: on November 5, 2015

Millennials. Keyboard

When I first received book in the mail I devoured the introduction and found it incredibly refreshing that this intellectual duo really took time to establish what they were going to do in this volume.   What an introduction to draw me into the subject matter from the most basic question of does leadership matter the to depths of leadership development and does leadership really make a difference.  Leadership development has been a pursuit of mine for a long time but now I have in my hands the encyclopedia of leadership.  This is not a popular “folk theology book” but one that has come from a scholarly point of view.    What an incredible resource for leaders.   I couldn’t agree with the editors more when I came to this statement at the end of their first chapter, “we recognize that those reading this volume might be overwhelmed by the sheer immensity of the book.”  Can I get an amen to that statement.   But then they close out their introduction with these two thoughts:  “The world is crying out for better leadership.  We hope this volume improves the supply.”

Does leadership matter?  The area that I focused in on was a section of this massive resource to look at Leading teams of leaders.  The five principles that was proposed for a leader leading leaders is really powerful and practical.

1  Creating a bounded entity that is defined by clear and shared purpose.  (defining who is and who is not a member of a leadership team is a matter that can pose significant emotional and interpersonal challenges eve for experienced leaders) (496)

2 Crafting an agenda so that the work of the team is always focused on meaningful, interdependent activities.  (keeping the work both meaningful and interdependent requires selecting team tasks carefully each time the team convenes.)  (497)

3. Shaping members’ construals of their role. (the whole job was about providing leadership for the whole enterprise both as individual leaders and as a member of the leadership team.)(497)

4.Articulating explicit norms that promote attention to team strategies and that minimize political dynamics.  (it took early action by the team leader to get constructive norms established and accepted.) (498)

5. Coaching the team  (the transition to shared responsibility for intervening in team processes, we found occurs most smoothly when team leaders fir model good coaching and then explicitly invite other member to join in when they feel they are ready to do so. ) (501)

Here is what I have drawn from this simple bite of this massive banquet.

This is why discipleship is so vital.  Leaders leading leaders is what this new day of discipleship is going to look like.  The way of discipleship in the past has to come into this modern and present day and this progressive thought process develops a path way to do this effectively.   The millennial generation are looking for this clear direction and instruction in leading in the church and leading in the kingdom.  These principles are translatable to the Kingdom.  I can draw the correlation between this purpose and intention and apply it to spiritual leadership or church leadership that is functional.   Not just functional but highly functional.

This book has challenged me to think on a different plan and to look for language that cross over to creating a new language of discipleship leadership.

What a great read.

About the Author


Kevin Norwood

My name is Kevin Norwood and I have been in youth ministry for the past 34 years. On February 14th, 1994, 27 years ago, we moved to Owasso OK and wow what a ride. My wife, Ann, is an RN and specializes in Clinical Documentation working from home. Maci is a my 21 year old daughter and she loves and shows horses. Her horse's name is Charlie. She is currently working with animals and loves to go on trail rides with her horse. London is my 10 year old son and he keeps me young. He absolutely loves life!! Golfing, baseball and Hawaii is his latest adventures. He skied for the first time in Colorado this year. I have started a coaching business for pastors at www.kevinnorwood.com and it is exciting the doors that God is opening. I earned my Doctorate in Leadership and Global Perspectives from George Fox on Feb 10, 2018.

11 responses to “Does Leadership Matter?”

  1. Rose Anding says:

    Thanks Aaron C.

    Your blog is awake up call for leaders; because the ministry needs to take a directive approach in training, and mentoring new members in discipleship and godly principles. The goal is to get the members through several stages, to a point of mentoring and coaching until everyone is able to carry out the task with little or no directions. Then the leader’s role can change to one of support and motivation. The goal is accomplished when the members are fully competent and empowered to do and complete the task of the leader.

    The key is to clarify the win, make necessary adjustments with continuous training and mentoring, narrow the focus and train for leadership replacement with a focus on Servanthood ministry.
    As church attendances decline, and the global melting pot of the world diversifies, the Church, as followers of Christ and representative of the poor, is faced with the challenges of being significant in future global dialogue. It is through effective leadership to establish a strategic plan of evangelism that leads to the glory of God in church growth, and also fulfills the mandate for the great commission in the 21st century.

    This awareness is about the urgency of the church to come from behind the four walls and get out into the highways and byways to spread the good news of the gospel and to do the kingdom’s work. People are hurting and in desperate need of hope, which is the light of God’s word. So what are we leaders going to do?

    Thanks Aaron C, I like your kingdom mindset, may God bless you in your endeavors! Rose Maria

    • Kevin Norwood says:

      Jesus invested all of his time into leadership development. He did the ministry but he taught the ministry at the same time. He operated as a leaders developing and leading leaders. I believe this book questions can leaders make a difference and I have to gravitate to the answer, yes!


  2. Claire Appiah says:

    I think we Christians tend to live and breathe spiritual, biblical, and Kingdom principles no matter what we read, hear, see, or experience in our lives. From a highly intellectual, scholarly book on leadership you were able to discern the spiritual application for leadership in the church and discipleship in a contemporary context.
    I was just wondering, as a pastor speaking to the needs of the millennial generation how do you envision what the “new language of discipleship leadership” looks like?

    • Kevin Norwood says:


      I believe we have to introduce some new language that would be in line with the mainstream.

      Let me give an example: Disciples? Not sure that is a current word but how about “followers” or “subscribers”? Both of these have multiple meanings to them but they could truly identify what a disciple is in today’s society.

      Revival? Isn’t that a complete church word? Refresh, renew? Could those words take the place with a new meaning?

      I haven’t completely explored all the specific words that need to be reintroduced in a current way but I am writing them down as I start this writing journey.

      Any you can think of?


  3. Aaron Cole says:

    Great Blog! I love your perspective, because it approaches the subject matter with the next generation in mind. I want to ask your opinion (same question I asked Colleen). I resonated with the idea that the role of a Sr. Pastor is likened to a role of a corporate CEO. What are thoughts? Agree, disagree, why?

    The reason for my question is that I think you have perspective and objectivity in relation to this question that I don’t possess because I am currently in the role of sr. pastor. I am curious of your thoughts on the subject.


    • Kevin Norwood says:


      I believe the pastor does operate now more than ever in the CEO role. The application that I gave to it from a leadership book is that if we as pastors don’t approach the marketplace like it has evolved we will never attract those within it. The wasting of time that I have been in around the Christian world is horrendous and needs to be changed. If we could have a meeting about church things that is led like it would be in the corporate world then we would be very attractive to the lost and would be able to hold our own when operating in the business world of finance and real estate.

      The other thing that I see is that I am trying to develop market place disciples and if they come out of my leadership development and can take Christian principles and actions into the secular world with ease then I have accomplish moving Christianity in to the main stream.


  4. Kevin, first of all, I love the image that you chose for the post – It definitely caught my attention and captivated my interest.

    Some books equip and some empower – this volume evoked questions and asked for evidence – evidence of influence and evidence of effect. Seth Goodin asserts that, “The people you work with won’t change if you don’t believe. The communication of enthusiasm and connection and leadership starts with the gift you give, not with the manipulation you attempt” (Goodin, Linchpin, 217). What an incredible truth – Nohria and Khurana sought to create a compilation that impacted our leadership and challenged us to respond to culture. They challenged us to assess leadership as a practice – a practice that challenged us to delve into the concepts and characteristics and then measure our impact.

    I spoke with some young adults from the millennial generation and asked them what they sought in a good leader. Here’s a summation of their replies: “The traits of good leaders are the ability to mentor, lead responsibly, divvy out equally, open-minded, open to discussion and ideas, ability to be objective and inclusive and concern for how their leadership is being taken by the group.” Leadership must matter and bring meaning, but does meaning have to do with our definition or our audience? How have you been able to assess the needs and questions of your youth group and lead with meaning? I would love to hear some ideas on how you’ve been able to connect with you audience and bring meaning – it would help me in figuring out how to bring meaning-centered leadership to my talks. Thanks!

  5. Kevin Norwood says:


    I replied to Aaron along these same lines so if you read that it will give some idea of my perspective but let me answer your direct question about teenagers.

    The message can’t bend or twist or turn to fit the society. That has to stay sacred and stay in tact. Some try to bend this to fit the society.

    I believe the leadership involved with teenagers and young adults have to do the incredibly hard job of listening first to get where students are coming from because it is different than ever before. Listen and then explain back with clear reason and with facts instead of “folk theology” because this is where the division comes. Folk theology will not bear the weight of their questions or carry them into any action. But if you can explain the text and the principles of Scripture to this current day and context they will follow you with full passion and unlimited energy.

    This book really clearly talks about practical principles for meetings and for establishing leaders and their roles to lead those who are following them.

    I lead my student leaders in a level that would be considered Grad School material. Let me put that another way. I teach them on a really “deep” level and expect that because they are from this generation they will be able to “translate” that deep teaching into modern language for their peers. All I ask them to do is write down a cut sheet and give it to me so I can understand how they are communicating what I am communicating. They have been able to do that with incredible creativity and with visual ethnography. I don’t require that but because they want to connect with their peers they do that naturally!!


    • Thank you for the good reply and contribution, Kevin! The message itself must remain intact, but the presentation changes according to need and audience.

      I love the story of Christ and Zacchaeus. This man was the lowest of the low – his status was lower than the leaper and excluded him from entering the temple. However, Jesus pursued. Christ did not give him permission to enter His house, He asked to enter this man’s home. Christ’s presentation and choice of words spoke bodily to Zacchaeus and those of the crowd surrounding. By Jesus pursuing Zacchaeus, it revealed that the love of God reaches past religion and towards relationship. Jesus made a leadership choice. You stated, “Folk theology will not bear the weight of their questions or carry them into any action.” This is so true! This is a generation that is intelligent and desires to know Christ with intention and insight. Cookie-cutter answers won’t satisfy their questions – they want to know Christ so that they can represent Christ.

  6. Jason Kennedy says:

    Good blog. Well thought out. Do you think millennials resist the leadership model of the past? Twenge, a millenial researcher we have talked about, seems to view millennials as a culmination of previous generation, so how will they view leadership? In you experience with teenagers and young adults, do they embrace leadership?

  7. Kevin Norwood says:


    I believe millennials resist the past leadership model because they find mindless repetition and just doing things because they are the “right thing” revolting. They would rather make less money and have not security to do something that has purpose.

    They view their parents and leaders who kept jobs just to keep an income and stability even though they hated their job as unthinkable. They wouldn’t ever do that. Staying in one place and hating leadership and the lack of purpose would not be acceptable to them.

    Will teenagers and young adults embrace leadership? YES if leadership is clear on the purpose and the reason for them being involved. They don’t want token roles they want to be in the greatest risk factor jobs because it is fulfilling and powerful to them. Don’t lie to them or hype them on something that doesn’t deliver. You may never get your credibility back.

    I make sure what I say is the truth and is not over extended or hyped and because of that they follow me with confidence and with boldness. It is not always easy because I come from the past generation. I will give you one example

    We change about 6 years ago to go to Wisconsin to camp because when my students loaded the bus from Turner Falls they stated “no fun at camp” because of some of the leaderships distaste for churches our size.

    I listened to them and we went to Wisconsin to Spencer Lake. It is one of the GREATEST camps I have ever been to. It truly is so I SOLD it that way and the camp DELIVERED!!! We rocked it and the camp rocked it.

    When we made the decision to come back to camp in Oklahoma I undersold the camp at Sparks.. I related it to survivor camp. I said there may not be running water or A/C….. I didn’t know that I was a prophet!! 4 out of 5 camps didn’t make. The camp before ours went home after a day.
    Our camp actually made it but it was awful on the practical side but spiritually is was outstanding!!!! Like no other camp. I undersold but God over delivered.

    I had my credibility because I was honest. Often when you make a change you overhype to try and cover your own rear!! I make a choice not to do that so that I maintain credibility with this generation. That might be a simple example but even in the simple things it is vitally important. Sorry this response is so long but I hope it helps.


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