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5 Ways Your Life as a Disciple Shapes Your Effectiveness as a Leader

effectiveness as a leader

You are first a disciple of Jesus before you are a leader for Jesus.

The values, tone, and purpose of your leadership is shaped by the quality and depth of your discipleship.

Think about how you have been discipled as a follower of Christ. That process has a profound impact on your effectiveness as a leader.

You carry the depth, quality, and maturity of your experience as a disciple into your leadership today.

Your spiritual leadership cannot consistently out-perform your life with God.

None of us ever “arrive” as a leader, which requires us to continue to grow and mature as a disciple.

We could list ten to twelve pathways to spiritual growth, but the core basics remain the same.

  • Grounded in the Word
  • Fervent in prayer
  • Connected in authentic community

My growth in these three areas must keep up with or exceed my growth as a leader. My spiritual vitality sets the pace for my leadership effectiveness.

I believe this is true for all of us.

With this as a foundation, our spiritual depth and heritage as a disciple first do not in any way dismiss strategic skills, progress, and accountability.

Vision and purpose are evident in God’s plan.

Strategy is also clear in scripture from the story of Nehemiah’s leadership to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem to the early church in the book of Acts.

Jesus himself demonstrates a very intentional selection of His key followers (12 disciples). (Luke 6:12-16)

As one practical example, we should not dismiss recruiting as a secular management skill. When you consider the depth of Jesus’ words, “Come and follow me,” it’s a master’s course in recruiting on a spiritual level.  From relationship to vision, recruiting is a nuanced skill that is essential in the operation of the church. Our nature as a disciple is the foundation that shapes how and why we recruit.

Our salvation is a result of grace, not work, and our maturing faith is part of our spiritual growth, but it’s connected to good works prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Leadership is a spiritual endeavor.

5 Ways Your Life As a Disciple Shapes Your Effectiveness As A Leader

1. In order to lead well, you must first be willing to follow.

There is no leadership apart from followership.

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

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Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together.