Just back from a great, extremely exhausting trip to California. In less than three days, Jeremy and I met with five churches in LA and Sacramento, attended baseball games in LA and San Francisco, and somehow included a fantastic excursion to a good friends' town in central CA. Jeremy is an up-and-coming leader in hub who also participated in our Northern Ireland mission last summer.
The church interviews affirmed what I've been discovering about character and culture. To accomplish their priority for godly character in their leaders has not been easy for these churches. Godly character doesn't pursue the same methods and trends that attractive charisma pursues. Godly character does not always "look" like the impressive leadership styles for which we so often stammer.
Likewise, creating a culture/climate/environment whereby people are raised up as leaders from within an organization is an enduring process. There is no quick fix to a rift in this kind of situation. When there is a need to "fill a position" the grass often seems greener on the outside of the church – and the temptation is to hire from a pile of impressive candidates – because the potential leaders in the church are so well known (including especially their flaws). The tendency for us is to look elsewhere for talent… to order the fast food pre-made leader without putting in the preparation work in our own kitchen…
Anyways, as you can see I'm still trying to let these ideals permeate my skin and bones. I desire to be the best quality leader God can make me… and to raise up the best quality leaders God can make… so I pray this thesis work helps enable that.
On May 18 I'm off on another whirlwind trip to Portland with Adam Monkman, our raised-up-from-within youth pastor. Can't wait to spend time with Adam processing leadership and Ephesians 4:11-12. We plan to be crashing the NAB Church Planting Summit, hanging out with a great Regent College friend, interviewing a really interesting downtown Portland church, flying a red-eye to Philadelphia to interview a couple other significant church movements, and then heading home all energized (I hope!!).