DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Is Leadership Worth It?

Written by: on September 4, 2019

Recent figures value the US leadership development industry at nearly $14 billion.[1] The Church Growth Movement, a corollary movement in the arena of church culture, has also seen an explosion in influence over the past six decades.[2] While statistical measurements of monetary output and numerical growth point to signs of success within the leadership space and church culture, a more in-depth probe reveals conflicting results. According to the Center for Creative Leadership, an estimated 38–50 percent of executives fail within eighteen months of accepting their positions.[3] Most statistical data also show a decline or plateau in church growth. The church is particularly failing to reach Millennials and Post-Millennials (Generation Z, or Gen Z) as many “drop out of church between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two.”[4] For me, one of the many questions that arise from this data, has leadership failed, or have we been looking at it in the wrong way, particularly in the church? Enter in The Theology of Leadership Journal.

The Theology of Leadership Journal, edited by Russell L. Huizing, Ph.D., as hinted at in the title of the journal, desires to bring in a distinctly Christian understanding of leadership that starts from a framework of the Godhead, not one that simply adds Christian language to established leadership theory.[5] Thus one way they try and answer the above question is to look at leadership from a theological perspective rather than strictly a pragmatic one.[6] Reading through the articles in volume one brought a refreshing take on leadership principles ranging from strategic planning, servant leadership, workplace calling, and power leadership. I particularly enjoyed the article Paul the Team Leader: Strategic Planning, Intragroup Conflict, and Team Formation by Singfiel.

As a one who identifies with the Pentecostal movement “planning” while spelled with more than four letters might as well be considered a “four-letter-word” when it comes to leadership and church. Singfiel writes, “Christian leaders today sometimes approach planning apologetically as though it is a necessary evil. In some quarters, nothing is done without an explicit word from the Lord or other inspiration. Planning is sometimes viewed as something borrowed from the business world and, therefore, suspect.”[7] I can confidently say, many in the Pentecostal/Charismatic church as those Christian leaders Singfiel refers too. On the one hand, I would agree that there is an overload of business techniques that have not only influenced Christian leaders but are the foundation for their leadership. One such example is Servant Leadership.

In “Beyond Servant Leadership,” Jack Niewold challenges the secular roots of the servant-leadership model and warns from a theological perspective that its Christian application “is reflective of a heterodox and distorted Christology.[8] While the theme of servanthood is evident in the Bible, church leadership may need to revisit its standing as an inherently Christian leadership model. Therefore, on the other hand, if we start from a theological perspective and can remain theological accurate. We can then introduce/apply modern leadership insight. Pentecostal leaders (and all leaders) should not be hesitant to exercise said leadership principles. In his exegesis of two different accounts in Acts, as it relates to planning, Singfiel concludes, “sometimes, sanctified human agency seems in the forefront while other times God actively intervenes”,[9] to me, this speaks to Spirit-led leadership as being embodied, not outer-body. Meaning God uses all of who we are to lead us, not just divine (non-human) acts to direct us.

As I continue to research Paracletic Spirit-embodied leadership. One question that is coming to mind is, whether it is possible to develop a model of leadership for the Pentecostal/Charismatic community. This question is essential because of the diversity of expression within the movement.

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[1] Bersin & Associates, “Bersin and Associates Research Shows U.S. Leadership Development Spending Surges 14 Percent to an Estimated $13.6 Billion in 2012,” PR Newswire, July 16, 2012, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/bersin–associates-research-shows-us-leadership-development-spending-surges-14-percent-to-an-estimated-136-billion-in-2012-162573886.html.

[2] Thom S. Rainer, The Book of Church Growth: History, Theology, and Principles (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 1998), 12, ProQuest Ebook Central.

[3] Douglas Riddle, “Executive Integration: Equipping Transitioning Leaders for Success,” Center for Creative Leadership, 2016, 1, https://www.ccl.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/ExecutiveIntegration.pdf.

[4] Thom S. Rainer and Sam S. Rainer III, Essential Church?: Reclaiming a Generation of Dropouts

(Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2008), 2.

[5] “Vol 1 No 1 (2018): Theology of Leadership Journal.” Vol 1 No 1 (2018) | Theology of Leadership Journal, n.d, 3. http://theologyofleadership.com/index.php/tlj/issue/view/v1i1.

[6] Ibid.

[7]  Singfiel, Paul the Team Leader: Strategic Planning, Intragroup Conflict, and Team Formation, (Vol 1 No 1, Theology of Leadership Journal, 2018), 10.

[8] Jack Niewold, “Beyond Servant Leadership,” Journal of Biblical Perspectives in Leadership 1, no. 2 (Summer 2007): 118, https://www.regent.edu/acad/global/publications/jbpl/vol1no2/JBPLVol1No2_Niewold.pdf.

[9],” Singfiel, Paul the Team Leader: Strategic Planning, Intragroup Conflict, and Team Formation, 17.

About the Author

Mario Hood

Most importantly, I am married to the love of my life, Misty Hood, and I'm kept on my toes all day every day, by my son Dalen and daughter Cola Hood. I also serve as the Next Generation Pastor at Church On The Living Edge in Orlando, Florida, under the leadership of Senior Pastor, Dr. Mark Chironna as well as being a Youth and Family Life coach.