Last Friday I shared that Lance Burch and I are travelling to Ukraine in a couple of weeks to teach in a seminary there. The course deals with leadership in the local church. I said I would post the summary of the lessons we teach here for the next week. So here we go! The first day we teach at Kiev Theological Seminary (KTS) will be the session where we define leadership and vision.
Here are my statements about leadership:
- At it’s very core leadership is influencing others to action.
- One person describes it as creating movement in an organization.
- Bob Biehl has defined leadership as the following:
- Knowing what to do next.
- Knowing why that is important.
- Being able to bring the appropriate resources to bear on the situation at hand.
- James McGregor Burns defines Transformational Leadership as the ability to enable people to give up their own agendas in an organization for the pursuit of something larger and more important, resulting in the raising of ability for both follower and leader to be better at what they do.
- Romans 12:8 leads us to the way a leader in the local church should lead — with zeal! Romans 12:11 states, “Never be lacking in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.” Whether you are a follower or a leader, the Apostle Paul challenges us to serve in vibrant vital ways.
So, then, what is vision? In Andy Stanley’s book, Visioneering, he puts it this way; Vision is a picture of the future that produces passion in the leader and his/her followers. He goes on to write the following:
- Vision is at the very core of leadership. Take vision away from a leader and you cut out his or her heart. Vision is the fuel that leaders run on. It’s the energy that creates action. It’s the fire that ignites the passion of followers. It’s the clear call that sustains focused effort year after year, decade after decade, as people offer consistent and sacrificial service to God.
- Proverbs 29:18 states, “Where there is not vision, the people are unrestrained.” They can’t focus, can’t reach their goal, and can’t follow their dream. Without vision, people lose the vitality that makes them feel alive.
These are obviously just the beginning points of what we will cover the first day in our KTS class. There is four hours of teaching that with translation boils down to about two.
So a story from Ukraine. How did I get involved in Ukraine in the first place? Well in April of 1992 Dennis Carlson from SEND International invited me to participate in a short-term trip to Ukraine. My son and I went in that summer and it was a life-changing experience for both of us. During the time there, I fell off a building and really messed up my foot. But through a series of miraculous events I was returned to health. It was a huge wake-up call for me. I realized we were not fighting against flesh and blood, but principalities and powers and that the powers of darkness didn’t want our involvement in that part of the world, but God did. And through that time and many more visits back to Ukraine we partnered with the churches in the Vinnitsa Oblast to see some seventeen churches planted over the next ten years.
Tomorrow we’ll look at some more leadership ideas we’ll be sharing with our class at KTS.