“Developing Leadership” Day 4

Today was the last full day of class. We talked more practically and more specifically about mentoring, which has been a real emphasis of the entire class, actually.

I have had a candidacy mentor since 2000 for which I am grateful. And over the next course of the next few months, Joleen and I hope to enter into another mentoring relationship with a leader in our Conference. We always want to be learning and growing by interacting with other leaders who are more experienced than us.

But it’s certainly not just about us receiving from others; it’s about us receiving and being formed so that we can give to others and pour into their lives.

One thing that really struck me today was a statement that "dumping tasks" was not necessarily the same thing as "delegating tasks." It’s an attitude. Some leaders simply want to dump the tasks they don’t like to do, while others want to expand the ministry by sharing the ministry with others.

I believe I am in the second camp — I want to develop others for ministry and share the ministry with them. It’s not really about lightening my load!

I share that because many of you know that I intend to involve everyone in ministry. I hope I always make it clear that it’s because I believe the ministry will be better if you are involved, not simply that I’m trying to get others to do my work. Make sense?

If you’ve been reading along, you may know that this is our last class before we begin the dissertation-writing phase (in January 2007). Early on in the program, I had one idea that was fairly short-lived (I satisfied that particular desire with a research paper I wrote for one particular class).

But about one year ago, I developed the idea of writing a dissertation (project paper) on something within the context of "spiritual leadership." However, this class has caused me to rethink the direction for the paper.

Basically, I’m not really sure how I feel about the phrase "spiritual leadership" anymore. As I understand it, there’s no word in the Old Testament for "spiritual" or "secular."  It’s just life; all of life is to be lived for God. So, all leadership, regardless of where it’s practiced, can be "spiritual."

I’ve been thinking about this over the last couple of days and I shared my thoughts with Dr. West during one of our breaks today. In sharing this with him, I said I was thinking about some sort of connection between "developing a leadership culture" and "transforming community." In other words, what is the role of creating a leadership culture and transforming community?

His response was very helpful. In fact, we’re planning to talk more about it before we head home tomorrow after class. I will share more about this, and probably flesh it out with all of you, over the course of the next few months, as well as the next year or so, as we work on the church-bsed project paper.

Well, if I get a chance, I will write one final reflection piece after tomorrow’s session. For now, I want to thank you for reading and for praying!

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