One of my friends who is a leader in his denomination asked me, “Do you do any leadership training?”
I said, “Yes. We call it disciplemaking training,” and then I winked at him. (We’re still good friends.)
There is so much talk about “leadership” in ministry these days—and yet, so little disciplemaking.
Here’s a crazy thought on leadership:
What if disciplemaking is leadership? If that’s true, then whoever initiates disciplemaking friendships is a leader—even if he or she doesn’t hold a “leadership” title or position. Real leaders don’t need a title or position. They just live it. It’s a way of life for them, not a job.
While I’m jumping off a cliff, let me say this:
All disciplemakers are leaders, but not all “leaders” are disciplemakers.
There. I said it. But before you reject it, run what I just said through your understanding of Jesus’ life and ministry. Think with me: Jesus doesn’t just make disciples, he makes disciplemakers. Jesus doesn’t simply collect a large group of followers and call that success. No, Jesus seeks to transform every follower into a fisher.
Hence, Jesus is the ultimate “leader.” But he lived as a humble servant who made disciplemakers. Pardon me, but I’m a little suspicious of any talk of “leadership” that is not centered on Jesus, humility, servanthood, and disciplemaking.
The more I study Jesus the more I question current conventional wisdom on leadership.
We really need to pause and rethink what it means to be a ministry leader or church leader in light of the biblical Jesus. I contend that making disciples like Jesus is the fullest and truest expression of what it means to be a spiritual leader. And if that’s true, then whoever initiates, lives, and shares The Disciplemaking Genius of Jesus as a way of life with others is a leader.
What if instead of defining leadership as “influence,” we defined it as initiating disciplemaking friendships that multiply? What might happen if every paid and volunteer leader in a church or ministry actually led—not just with their lips—but with their lives like this?
I dare you to try to find out.