Let’s start something new in 2011…

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I’d like to tell you about something new for 2011 that I’m very enthused about. We’re setting up The Brook Network for a year-long study of a topic that has not been pursued adequately: spiritual leadership. Over the past year I’ve been talking with Christian leaders in many different roles from many different parts of the world, and I’m finding that they are looking for the fresh wind of the Spirit of God to empower and guide their efforts in new ways. Christian church leaders will tell you this, as well as business and community leaders, educators, and even parents.  People are looking for integrity, depth, wisdom, and spiritual practicality from their leaders–not just the nuts and bolts of the machines we build.

So this is what we are going to do–and I hope you’ll participate. Starting the first week of February The Brook Letter going out on Thursdays will include thoughts on spiritual leadership today, audio interviews with some of the most interesting Christian leaders today, and reflection/discussion questions. As 2011 unfolds we will solicit thoughts from Christian leaders around the world. (The Brook Letter at the start of each week will have thoughts on the Christian life.) You may want to use some of this material for discussions in the leadership groups you are part of.

What is “spiritual leadership”? Well, that’s what we’ll be trying to answer as this special project unfolds. As a jumping-off place we can say this: spiritual leadership means helping people, groups, and organizations come under the transforming influence of God. Everybody agrees that leadership is influence. The question for Christian leaders is how that influence will not be limited to us, but for God to be the true influence. Really, truly. Because that’s what counts.

This year-long study will only be as rich as the people following along, so could I ask you to consider doing two brief things right now?

1.  Encourage leaders you know to sign up for The Brook Letter and/or follow the RSS feed or Twitter) which will be the instruments for this weekly study. It’s easy and it’s free. Use “Share/Save” below. Sign up for The Brook Letter.

2. Offer your opinion by finishing this sentence: “I think Christian leaders today need to remember…” (Use the “Comment” box below.)

50 thoughts on “Let’s start something new in 2011…”

  1. I think Christian leaders today need to remember that in order to become the best leader we can, we must focus on serving God and others. Christian leaders should not have a CEO mentality, but a feet washing mentality.

  2. without prayer and taking time for yourself and your God there is no strength which will match the demands of the day. Yes there are “smooth” days but thiere are days which cause us to wonder deeply if we want to continue doing what we were called to do. Pray, believe that if you set time aside to sing, worship, pray, adore Him you will find strength. Think soberly of yourself and the age we live in. Even the best staff are under spiriutal attack.

  3. Spiritual leaders must remeber to spend regular time in the Word and in prayer. Apart from the Spirit of God, we are powerless to effectively lead others in spiritual matters. If we do not spend regular time at these things, then we are not able to take advantage of the Holy Spirit, for we are not seeking his counsel.

  4. I think Christian leaders today need to know…that before I can pray “let your kingdom come” I must first pray “Let my kingdom go.”

  5. …that very often the pathway to finding Christ must follow along the logical, sequential, even scientific thought patterns which many in our culture have adapted as the only way to think and to process new information.

  6. … a set of key principles with Biblical undergirding. Here is one from a leader/founder friend in N.H.: During my years of ministry, I’ve noted that thankful people are usually healthier folks. This is especially important in the recovery of addicts.
    Most broken men and women entering His Mansion’s one-year program have led a life of “me.” They’ve been nurtured in a culture of dissatisfaction, disenchantment and disappointment. They’ve been told that they deserve more–entitled to more programs, more education and more happiness.
    The addicted are sad, lonely and hopeless. They welcome any relief from their pain and depression. One of the most difficult habits to kick is moaning, groaning and grumbling. The cure for depression and dissatisfaction is thanksgiving!
    ss/ Stan Farmer, Director emeritus, His Mansion, Hillsborough, NH. 11/2010

  7. I think Christian leaders today need to remember 1 Kings 9…to walk before God as King David walked. That our accomplishments are important and significant, but what makes “Christian” leadership unique is the emphasis and commitment to an inner life of integrity and character.

  8. Christian leaders need to remember that for many people the Christian faith is a BLANK PAGE in any of the books they have already read or may read. To quote a line from the Sound of Music “Let’s start at the very beginning’

  9. I think Christian leaders today need to remember that leadership begins with a servants heart. If Christian leaders are going to be effective, they need to step away from themselves (their titles, accomplishments and education – Romans 12:3) and come along side others just as Jesus did (John 13: 1-17).

  10. …that they are not the leaders. That in fact, they are not the leader at all, they should simply be following – and encouraging others to follow also. Guideposts, mirrors, beacons maybe, but there IS and – should be recognized and celebrated as ONE “BE”ing – really the only ONE “Spiritual Leader”.

  11. …that it’s not all about getting the work done. If the people serving under you (paid staff or vounteers) are not growing closer to Christ, then what exactly is the point of all this ministry? And how can they lead others to spiritual maturity? Asking someone how they are doing spiritually, instead of assuming that everything’s fine, can really open the door to authentic fellowship and mutual encouragement.

  12. I think Christian leaders today need to remember that a culture of prayerful dependence is as relevant today as when it was modeled by Jesus.

  13. That ministry is between our feet and not just in a group or study. in Jesus Name (cognizant of whom we are representing when doing ministry). Psalm 37:4 comes to mind. When delighting ourselves in the Lord the desires of His heart (ministry) often come to fruition.

  14. It is of paramount importance that those in leadership remember to humbly walk as servant-leaders and to possess a prayerful lifestyle. Jesus radically served and walked as a servant-leader. He also spent great amounts of time in prayer. John Wesley once said that, “God can do nothing in the earth, except a man pray.”

    As Christians, and as leaders, we are expected to live an incarnate life. This demands that we become as the one who is living incarnate in, and through, us. Jesus walked in radical humility, radically serving, and through a radical prayer life. If leaders today want their ministry to be a reflection of the Master (Is there any other ministry?), then we must imitate our Master.

  15. “I think Christian leaders today need to remember…
    that we all started from the same place
    that each of our journeys to understanding and having a relationship with God are as unique as each one of us and no two are alike, ever have been and never will be. A good Christian leader would have the insite and wisdom to understand this in their ministry.

  16. I think Christian leaders today need to remember that the church is not broken. The church is the bride of Christ, His beloved. What doesn’t always seem to work when we gather to worship is when we replace the object of our worship with the objects of our own desires.

  17. I think Christian leaders today need to remember that the believers are hungry for the Word of God that is read from the Bible (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth). Most people do not read the entire Bible and need help from the leaders. Today, people need to know what the other religions teach so that they are more prepared to discuss the Bible with them. People today need to see that holidays such as Christmas and Easter are religious days and that Santa and the Easter Bunny should take the back burner. Putting together a “Play” that has meaning and can help people open their heart and accept Jesus into their hearts is a worthwhile endeavor. Thank you for allowing me to voice my opinion!

  18. “I think Christian leaders today need to remember…” that their power comes from Christ and can channel through them as long as they stay connected to the power source through pray, reading the Bible, and staying in constant relationship with Christ our Lord.

  19. We are or have the opportunity to be christian leaders where God has placed us. I lead using Christ as the example and Christian Principle as the solid ground / foundation of Strategic Plans. I suggest the Tower of Babble as one very effective example of the importance of communication and objectives consistent with God’s objectives for integrity, openness, and serving.
    Corporate vision statements fall apart as they are distorted by hearers. Using the timeless example of God;s word won’t stop the distortions but does cause the doubters of the select willing to follow as solid ground to accept the vision as lasting and sound. And on that you can build a lifetime of management and witness. JIF

  20. I think Christian leaders today need to remember God and the Bible. The Bible is fully inspired by God and fully inerrant. God not only inspired the authors but also the process to compile the books and anything else that played a part in the Bible`s development. If we do not remember this than we are in fact questioning God like the serpent did in Genesis 3:1. God is almighty, all powerful, and all knowing. Knowing and believing this will allow us to be the leaders that God wants us to be.

  21. Christian leaders need to be the prime servants in their work environment, whether the ministry or not, home life, or life in general. If a leader serves by example, not because they have to, but because their relationship with Jesus The Christ of God drives them to emulate Him in every relationship, then they will be respected and followed because of Jesus in them. We need more leaders who serve out of love than for position, prestige and power. ian T Blacker

  22. I think Christian leaders today need to remember….. that God’s word is our guide, NOT the culture, NOT tradition, NOT politics nor celebrities. Teach us how to live BIBLICALLY, not how to be politically correct. Teach us to stand up to persecution, NOT how to avoid it.

  23. “I think Christian leaders today need to remember…that fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the holy (One) is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)

    Only by diligently searching and meditating on the Word of God will Christian leaders be able to humbly and confidently lead in the cause of Christ. Everything else is stumbling in the dark.

  24. I think it’s imperative to model leadership after the servanthood model Jesus demonstrated for us. This is in contrast to some of the leadership we see around us, where leaders are setting their own agendas to benefit themselves, promote their own books, or are in varied ways self-serving rather than self-sacrificing. I also believe it’s essential for leaders to be humble and courageous enough to ask for help. A leader may hesitate to ask for help, as it could appear to be a sign of weakness. Leaders need encouragement, prayer support, guidance, and counsel just like anyone does.

  25. From my own personal experiences, I believe leaders continually need to look up,asking God what step
    to take next and to let us know when the time is right. I’ve also begun to get a greater understanding of
    partners in prayer as well as people that we’re accountable to. Most of all, I’m learning to stand alone which is a hard step for me who has always wanted to please people. To stand for the honest truth means standing alone
    far more then I had imagined. It has, however, drawn me closer to Him and given me a deeper understanding of
    His unconditional love for me.

  26. Not sure if my response went through so I’ll give it a second try. If this is a second reply feel free to delete.

    I believe being a leader means looking up — not left or right — and standing alone. It means drawing closer
    to fellow believers to who you are accountable and get the honest truth. It’s asking God to direct you, letting
    Him tell you what steps to take and when.

  27. “I think Christian leaders today need to remember…” that effective leadership must be founded on, formed by and fulfilled through our own discipleship. Or, as Stuart once put it, “roots are at least as important as fruits.”

  28. I think Christian leaders today need to remember to step aside and let the Holy Spirit lead through them – surrendering “my” will for His!

  29. I think that Christian leaders need to remember that each one of us is called to be a disciple. Leadership takes place on many levels. We all strive for excellance in everything we do and we strive to “cultivate” our leadership skills but, the apostles had no seminary degrees, had no leadership classes per se, had backgrounds in fields that gave no indication that they would be “successful leaders” of a new movement. They only had a personal relationship with Christ and first hand experience of the Holy Spirit. We can have all the “cultivated talents” the world can offer (speaking, teaching, administration, ect.) but unless we are disciples of Jesus Christ first and foremost ourselves, our labors will be stunted, if not in vain.

  30. I think Christian leaders need to remember…that “His power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corin 12:9) – His power perfected – in our weakness: even, or especially as leaders.

  31. everyone is at different level with their walk with Christ. Some at the very beginning stage and some already in a very activie Leadership role.

  32. Spiritual leaders need to know how leading people in spiritual matters (ministry, discipleship, etc.) is different than secular leadership, and how it can be the same (in that all truth is God’s truth). For example, how can we apply principles of effectiveness, objective evaluation, and leadership gifting and skills (to name just a few) to the area of spiritual leadership? I look forward to this discussion.

  33. Regina H. F. Refosco

    I THINK CHRISTIAN LEADERS TODAY NEED TO REMEMBER THAT THEY ARE FORMING NEW LEADERS FOR TODAY AND FOR THE FUTURE, SO THEY HAVE TO HAVE ALL THE EFFORT TO LIVE JESUS CHRIST AUTHENTICALLY IN THEIR LIVES.

  34. …God…! Help us to know you…! Grant us the grace to know your will and the strength and wisdom to accomplish it! Bind the evil one that would hinder us. Go before us in your providence and prepare our way. Correct us quickly and sternly…You are a mercyful and loving God…! Have your way with us! Make us the body of believers that you intended. In us, be glorified! You are worthy, Yahweh, Adonai… We ask these things for ourselves and for those that you have given to us!

  35. I think Christian leaders today need to remember to trust more in the One who is leading us than to trust in who we are and what we think WE have accomplished.

  36. Christian leadership first and foremost needs to begin with a spirit of humility and awe before a God who would use you to reach his hurting world, most often one person at a time. It requires a relationship that lets love flow both inward and outward to and from God.

  37. George Papachristou

    I think Christian leaders today need to remember not to overcomplicate their role or their teaching. Jesus lead and taught through humility, and simple acts of love and compassion. Jesus presented the common sense, easy to understand truths of coexistance that have been forgotten in the “world view” both in His time and in the present.

  38. I think Christian leaders today need to remember (Pr. 3:5) ” Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding.” Allow God’s Spirit to guide you, inspire you, counsel you, to speak through you.

  39. I think Christian leaders today need to remember that being a spiritual leader does not mean a title or position. It is a heart issue, whether I am in tune, listening to the voice of God to guide me in my opportunities to influence the world for Christ’s sake. Any Christian has the potential of being a spiritual leader. In opportunities around the world, it is so evident that the Church needs to teach how to develop as and what it means to be a spiritual leader. I think the Church has assumed for too long that as Christians get older, both physically and spiritually, that we will naturally step into roles as spiritual leaders. It has not happened. There is a huge void in today’s church for spiritual leadership development and we need more godly individuals to be the examples of the servant leaders Jesus (and others in the Bible) lived and taught.

  40. Casey O'Gorman Sr.

    Spiritual leadership requires 3 things;First it is preceded by prayer. Second it is discerned and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Third its ultimate goal to glorify Our Lord and Saviour. If we get this right,we are already leading!

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