in between flights…

I'm just back from the crazy Toronto/Detroit/Chicago trip.  I'm actually incredibly encouraged by the five churches I interviewed for the research.  Each church has their own DNA… exhibited in their own passions and expressions…

Two of the main themes that kept coming up in most of these 5 surprised me a bit.  In terms of leadership development, I expected a bit more talk about "spiritual gifting" or fitting people into necessary roles.  The churches that seem to be doing really well at raising up a new crop of leaders, however, are focusing on two key principles: CHARACTER and CULTURE. 

It's too early in my research to build a major case on this, but more than talent or charisma, more than prior training, the two main factors in a local church being successful at developing leaders revolved around the integrity of people and the environment that catalyzed leadership development.


  1. Thanks James!
    The two principles don’t surprise me… I think I’m more surprised that I actually heard the honest truth that programs don’t raise up leaders. I think I expected the churches I’m interviewing to suggest that they’ve been successful because they did “such-n-such” seminars or followed “so-n-so’s” 12 step plan for discipleship. I think some programs out there are good for the right time and the right place and the right people… but they are only pawns to bigger principles at the end of it all. I was refreshingly surprised to actually hear that from some people that KNOW it works best with character and culture. Awesome.
    I’ll spill more later. I’m afraid to comment too much right now and end up skewing the research. This is all preliminary and I have still to detail the interviews I’ve just completed – not to mention the ten-twelve still to go.
    Off to California tomorrow! Interviewing 5 communities. Looking forward to it!!

  2. Hey Ken
    Glad to hear you survived. Hope the family did as well.
    I am looking forward to hear more of your results.
    Can you in a few more words define character and culture?
    Why does character surprise you – was Jesus not more concerned about character then actions (the widow’s mite, the pharisees)? Was his emphasis not on teaching people how to live – how to live in right relationship with God and then with each other?

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