Before my role as assistant to the Synod Executive at ECO, I spent three years a...
I believe all of our values are incredibly important to the future of the ECO movement. I do think, however, that there are a few values that are foundational to the success of the rest of them. Leadership Velocity is one of those foundational values that determines our ability to live out the rest of the values. Leadership Velocity states, “We believe identifying and developing gospel-centered leaders is critical for the church, and a great leadership culture is risk-taking, innovative, and organic.”
As the Synod Executive Council has met, talked, and prayed about the future, we identified the area of leadership development as the place where significant energy and resources need to be invested in the next couple of years.
We seek leadership development in the following 3 ways:
- Pastors need continual development. The vast majority of us were given the tools, skills and expectations of ministry in a Christendom model. We recognize that new skills are needed for pastoral ministry in a post-Christian culture. New behaviors are needed if we are going to be risk-taking and innovative.
- We need to develop a pipeline of leaders for the future. Some of those are in our congregations right now are serving as non-ordained staff or in a non-paid capacity. What can we do to identify and invest in those leaders who will become the next generation of pastors? Some of those leaders may be serving in other ministry settings like Young Life or Intervarsity. What can we do to be an environment that is attractive to those future leaders?
- Leadership is organic. Leadership is grass roots in that it is not only “professional” pastors and leaders that we need to develop. We need to work at developing the cadre of leaders in our congregations who may not serve in a professional capacity, but are crucial to the future of our congregations and ECO’s movement.
One of my favorite parts of the value of Leadership Velocity is that we want to develop gospel-centered leaders. Gospel-centered leaders are those leaders who are firmly rooted in their identity in Jesus Christ. Gospel-centered leaders lead out of a depth of character and integrity. Gospel centered leaders are not trying to impress others or show themselves to be the best. They are thrilled that they are already viewed in the highest esteem and love, by the only eyes in the world that matter, those of their Creator and Redeemer.
It is difficult to operate out of a gospel-centered identity.
Often times we want to serve to please others in order to find our worth in them. Sometimes we trample over others or exploit our position for personal gain and attention. Sometimes we try to minister out of our technique or giftedness rather than out of a loving relationship with Jesus. This value reminds me that when we are developing our leaders, it is not just what people know and what people can do that matter, it is developing a character shaped by Jesus and living only to glorify Him.