I just read this interesting thread from Mark Riddle's facebook status update and found it tremendously helpful as I move forward with our new Shoreline Leadership College project.
Check it out:
A friend who's a Sr. Pastor sent me this question. How would you respond? "From my doctoral seminary Prof. I want each of you to do some bibliographic research and pick two or three books on leadership development/character-based discipleship in the church... Focus on changing behavior as the core of discipleship, and mentored leadership development. "
Books are probably outdated. Go with peer-reviewed research articles. Also, I'd want the prof's terms defined. Topic is way too broad.
Yesterday at 7:19pm
he needs to be in a different program
"changing behavior as the core of discipleship"- are you kidding me? "leadership" has lost its meaning- it now can mean to many people just getting something done collectively in a time of too much information...
the assignment has a bad smell
Yesterday at 7:35pm
Unfortunately most seminaries tend to be way behind the church which tends to be way behind culture on these kind of issues. A netter assignment might be to identify 20 most popular blogs on Christian leadership/discipleship and do a meta-analysis to identify the most common characteristics, then compare that to biblical tenants. Maybe.
Yesterday at 8:15pm
I'd have a beer.
Yesterday at 9:45pm
I'd ask my friend Mark Riddle. He knows all about this stuff
Yesterday at 10:07pm
I agree with Steve...peer-reviewed research articles would be the key (with an emphasis on peer-reviewed). I also agree with Chris that the whole thing has a "bad smell" about it from the get go...poor wording means a weak assignment. Maybe the profs thinking about Management through Manipulation rather than leadership?
Yesterday at 11:43pm
Unless, of course, we're talking about the leader learning to change his/her behavior and practices through interactions with others. Now that would be a great leadership book: Letting Others Close Enough that They Can Jack With You and Your Plans: Giving Up Leadership for Being a Normal Person.
Yesterday at 11:49pm
It's funny and sad, this church™ obsession we have with leadership.
Yesterday at 11:51pm
Although....my real recommendations would be Cost of Discipleship by Bonhoeffer and Wounded Healer & In the Name of Jesus by Nouwen
Yesterday at 11:55pm
funny that we don't have assignments on "servantship" or "sacrifice" too often, huh?
10 hours ago
Great stuff so far. So... If my friend the pastor were to read this,(and I think he is) what would you say to him that might help him understand where you're coming from on the critique of the program. My guess is that he's loving this, but a couple words on what leadership in the future looks like in the local church.
There's a lot of brain power in the room, with a lot of folks who I'd say are way ahead of the curve. Both in academia and in the church.
9 hours ago
Perhap this student should invite the Prof to the discussion.
4 hours ago
Phil, if the student wanted to, that would be great. though this may be less of a discussion and more of drive by thoughts.. :-)
4 hours ago
My response is obviously a little (?) knee-jerk based upon the leadership focus and material that has been present in the American church for the past 20+ years.
It is surprising to me that we spend so much energy (and money) on things that don't seem to be a part of the overall history of the church and the biblical perspective. It isn't uncommon to hear things like "Everything stands or falls on leadership" in the church, and I'm not sure what it does for the People of God to buy into statements like this. Where is God and the Body in such statements? (Unless of course God is the Big CEO).
I also believe biblical discipleship is about learning through experience. It does include life-change, I think, as we become more like Jesus; but I don't think this is so much about moral change and character modification as rethinking our whole reality based upon Jesus and the Kingdom of God--and this includes issues of identity. I don't think this type of discipleship can be fabricated or franchised. It's completely contextual and should be communal.... See More
The problem with so many books on topics like leadership, discipleship, etc is that we've made people feel like that have to be experts in methods or techniques. I don't believe there is a general "right" or "best" way in these matters.
4 hours ago