tonight Clay Carver of soul horizon, ron willoughby, and mark goodrich of grace community church had a great teleconference call with todd hunter. he was gracious enough to meet with us to discuss holistic leadership formation. clay and ron are involved in church planting and mark and I serve on grace community church’s adult ministry team . we asked todd questions for ab an hour. towards the end of our talk, i wrote down 5 words that encapsulated my take away’s (in no particular order):
service and character
todd mentioned that modern evangelicalism has a tendency to front load our leadership development as if someone is qualified when the end of the program is reached. he suggested that instead we need to take a more holistic approach and to realize that life and experience are the best teachers and that it takes time.
i mentioned that as i’ve done hiring in my day job, i’ve realized that i have to hire folks at 94% and bring them to 97% but that i’ll never get someone hired at 67% to 97%. todd suggested that the in establishing selection criteria that we look at character and service. he suggested that we focus on leaders already serving with good character. he suggests we over-rely on information.
after the meeting, i mentioned to mark, ron and clay that clay’s qualification for ministry isn’t clay, mdiv but rather clay, friend of ron. i walked away from our meeting thinking that a strong, confiding spiritual friendship is an absolute requirement as a leadership qualification.
i do believe knowledge is a strong component of this; but – as i’ve written before here and elsewhere – knowledge is not the omnicompetent modality of spiritual transformation.
and – of course – competences are important. but we must remember as Bertoldo de Giovanni told Michelangelo, “Talent is cheap; dedication is costly.” and dedication is the stuff of character.
what does all this mean?
i believe it means our best approaches must be more organic, holistic and relational rather than only systematized, proceduralized and structured. i don’t believe systemic is intrinsically bad. but it is not primarily effective.
i believe we focus more on selection, looking for people of character *and* service accomplishment.
i believe we continue to do information transfer but not rely on it only.
i need to think ab all this more.