Leadership is Discipleship

Leadership is discipleship... AND discipleship is leadership.

Let me explain some of my thoughts:

  • Jesus was and is the most influential person on the planet. His leadership effectiveness has grown from 12 people to 2.8 billion people in the last 2000 years. Do you know anyone who comes close to that type of effectiveness?
  • Therefore, Jesus is worth following. Discipleship is not only “following” the leader of all leaders, but allowing HIS influence flow in and through us, HIS followers
  • Discipleship is relevant… where leadership principles aren’t. I am still working out this statement, but leadership is changing all the time based on context, the rapid changes in our world, and demographics. In other words, what works in Thailand, Vancouver, and West Kelowna doesn’t mean we should parachute leadership templates that WORK based on context. If that is happening, and it does, I suggest that we are focusing too much on leadership rather than discipleship.
  • Discipleship reflects leadership. If leadership is influence and we allow Christ to influence us, we will have a everlasting influence on others rather than temporary influence that worldly leadership offers (I do think there are timely leadership principles in the world that we need to use, but not to leverage or substitute discipleship).
  • Discipleship happens in community. For far too long we have focused on superstar leaders by carbon copying their influences rather than building influence in community. Even though I have learnt great lessons in leadership from those a far from me, my growth as a disciple will be mostly those closest to me. In other words, leaders aren’t supposed to be isolated and living on islands far away from their people.
  • Discipleship gives authority through ongoing transformation (read 1 Corinthians 4). Leadership, in most cases, gives authority through position. Even though both paradigms allow and give authority, leadership can abuse authority where transformation breeds and trusts authority.

My questions are:

  • How are you allowing Christ to grow in you?
  • Do you have a leadership plan that is motivated by discipleship (building the Kingdom, not your kingdom)?
  • How do you disciple others?
  • Are you allowing others to disciple you?
  • Where is your authority flowing from? Ongoing transformation and/or position?

Lead well…