Discipleship before Leadership.


I think you can tell by the subject matter of many of my posts that I am a firm believer in the idea of discipleship. My own denomination has for a long time been keen to quote ‘Make Christ-like disciples’, but somehow we (and no doubt other denominations) are struggling so instead we seem to be concentrating on ‘raising leaders’ instead. I have a difficulty with that – I don’t see where leaders are modelled before discipleship. Jesus apprenticed a bunch of guys for three years (who still didn’t get it when you look closely enough) and then sent them out to be relational/evangelistic before reporting back and continuing their ongoing education..

I found a quote in Shane Claiborne’s ‘Common Prayer’ dated 7th May, on p270:

“American Quaker and spiritual writer Richard Foster has said, “We have real difficulty here because everyone thinks of changing the world, but where, oh where, are those who think of changing themselves? People may genuinely want to be good, but seldom are they prepared to do what it takes to produce the inward life of goodness that can form the soul. Personal formation into the likeness of Christ is arduous and lifelong.””

Are our current methods missing a vital point? Is our obsession with leadership preventing real leadership with depth from rising and maybe longer lasting as a consequence? I suspect so. Leadership came out of quality discipleship…. if it is there, it will show itself instead of a mechanical CEO.

This entry was posted in Christianity, Church, Consumerism, Culture, Discipleship, Dysfunctional, Institution, Monastic, New Monasticism, Postmodernity, Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Discipleship before Leadership.

  1. The Reg says:

    Agreed! I don’t know your denomination but I find most of Evangelicalism to prefer conversions over discipleship. Can’t put my finger on it either… an inadequate definition of salvation, perhaps?

    • revbloke says:

      Hi there Reg, I am from a Wesleyan Holiness tradition, which has also suffered from seperatism (but that is another story). Quick number counting preferred to longterm relational life even though what is said is very different. I think it applies to many denominations though..

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