“Leadership is stewardship.” Andy Stanley of North Point Church in Atlanta (the second largest church in the country) uses this phrase to explain the importance of leadership in every aspect of life. Leadership is everything in our institutions. A CEO determines the vision, direction, and many times the financial health of the company he or she leads. A father (or single parent) determines the vision, direction, and many times the faith of the family he or she leads. (Although faith is an individual choice, faith transference from one generation to the next is the greatest determining factor in a young person’s worldview and, of course, both parents play a role.) This begs the question; “How is leadership stewardship?” Stewardship is simply the responsibility of caring for something that belongs to someone else. Therefore, leadership is the way in which we as an organized institution plan, manage, strategize, and implement logistics for the sake of caring for people who belong to someone else—God.
As soon as we decide that we are the owners of Jesus or God or church, our leadership can no longer be stewardship. Instead, our actions tend to look more like control at that point, or even paranoia.
All local churches do things differently in how we organize opportunities for discipleship, lead worship services, and reach out to the world. I have traveled to leadership conferences at many churches in different parts of the country. There is not a perfect model that can be taken from one church and applied to another group of people with guaranteed success. However, the one constant among all of these churches that inspire me is leadership. Leadership is everything. At the end of the day, all churches who thrive possess incredible leadership at all levels. This leadership displays incredible Christian character, possesses tremendous passion for people, and illustrates true grit when times get tough.
I have invited anyone in Christ United Church who is interested to participate in some leadership development. One incredible opportunity for development is coming up this month; called “The Nines” which features 99 speakers who speak on 1 of 9 topics for 9 minutes each over a total of 9 hours. Got all that? This leadership conference will be held on Thursday, October 25th and Friday, October 26th from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Why would we not take advantage of this free opportunity together?
We will be broadcasting this event in our worship center. Rather it’s for 9 minutes, 99 minutes, or 9 hours, I have asked church folks to swing by for a chance to hear some of today’s brightest minds speak current issues many churches face. We will have pizza and sandwiches around lunch time as well as drinks and snacks during the rest of the event. For more info, visit www.thenines.tv