What is Leadership? Such a question is age old, John Maxwell definition is Leadership is 'influence nothing more nothing less'. Such is helpful but for our purposes Leadership is the intentional influencing of people towards something or somewhere.
Leadership has both a gifting factor (1 Cor 12:28) and a skill to develop
At DIVERGENT CHURCH we believe in two primary Biblical Leadership positions, the Overseer and the Deacon. These two terms unfortunately carry ALOT of baggage and as such we use differing practical terms to structure our Church in Leadership, these being our 'Senior Leadership Team' and our 'Ministry Leadership Team'
THE DEACON (or our 'Ministry Leadership Team) – from our booklet “Leadership at DIVERGENT CHURCH)
Deacons, in our context, “Ministry Leaders”, carry out their ministry under the oversight of the Senior Leadership Team and are called to carry the weight of ministries that tend to distract the Senior leadership from their responsibilities. The Ministry Leadership Team will meet with the Senior Leadership team every six weeks on a Sunday afternoon.
Ministry comes from the work diakioneo meaning 'to serve'. Ministry is simply serving others in the name of Jesus.
In our context, those that are Deacons are called the “Ministry Leadership Team”
In Acts 6, normally considered the very first appointment of Deacons two crucial qualities are highlighted, they were to be “full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom” (Acts 6:3)
1 Tim 3:8 – 13 outlines the qualities of a Deacon
“In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.11 In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. 12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.” 1 Tim 3:8 – 13
Similar questions asked of potential 'Senior Leadership team' are also asked of those seeking to step into 'Ministry Leadership'. Those that seek to be in 'Ministry Leadership” must agree to support the doctrinal standards of DIVERGENT CHURCH.
We understand people hold some minor differences at times, in such we always seek to live with grace and mercy. However in those areas, those in Ministry Leadership seek the unity of the body first accepting these positions as the positions of DIVERGENT CHURCH, always seeking to “keep the unity of the Spirit” (Eph 4:3). Any effort to undermine these positions is understood as divisive (Rom 16:17).
Expectations of Ministry Team Leaders
Ministry Team Leaders are to fulfil the character requirements and standards of Acts 6 and 1 Tim 3 and are to be tested in their character, commitment, chemistry and competency.
Additionally, practical requirements are asked of the Ministry Team including Life Community Leadership, participation in our monthly 'Equip Nights' and participation in our 'Team meetings' on Sunday afternoons every six weeks.
FORMAL LEADERSHIP IS POSITIONAL
Whilst general leadership is informal and simply about influence, in this context leadership is specifically positional. Without responsibility there is no authority. This equates to a fairly straightforward reality, whilst a person maintains positional responsibility, they maintain positional authority. If they step out of responsibility, they also step out of positional authority. At DIVERGENT CHURCH we do not have committees, we have teams. Teams that lead together, that work together. There is no such thing as a leader that has no direct responsibility, to step out of a position, is to step out of leadership.
PRACTICAL STEPS TOWARDS LEADERSHIP
At DIVERGENT CHURCH we are keen to see people 'desire to be bishops/overseers' (1 Tim 3:1). A Godly desire is something to be celebrated but equally something to be tested and proven.
Requirements for aspiring and present Leadership at DIVERGENT CHURCH.
1. Commitment to Corporate Gathering
Sunday Church is our 'family dinner', it is when we all get together. It is the only time we are able to directly equip and minister to all those in our community. Sundays are crucial. None of us would miss a weekly special family dinner in normal circumstances. We prioritise the importance of our Christ centred 'Family dinner experience'. Going beyond standard expectations of the general community is also important.
As part of being on the 'Ministry Team' we would expect each Ministry Team leader to be at Church about 15 – 20 mins earlier than the advertised 'starting time' (on weeks you are not 'rostered' on a formal team). This is to ensure there is opportunity for prayer, community and familiar faces in the community. Being active as a ministry leader is not something we 'roster on, roster off' from, it is a calling birthed from a heart for people.
2. Serve on a Gathering Team
Leadership is built upon servant hood. Servant hood is not about pursuing personal gifting and desires but the needs of others.
3. Disciple others
Jesus said he would build his Church' (Matt 16:18). Our role in such is making disciples (Matt 28:18 – 20). Discipleship is not a bible study or course (though of course it will involve both) but sowing into others and sacrificing for their good. All Christians should be able to name who they are discipling.
For practical resource in leading someone in studying scripture you can download the 'Green Book' and 'Blue Book' by Jesus Life House Church on the Android and Apple Markets for free.
4. Life Community Leadership
We expect all leaders to lead people communally, the proving ground for leadership is not the ability to run a project but lead and care for people. The starting place is in Life Communities.
Our growth strategy at LifeCity Church is simple, Multiply disciples, Multiply Life Communities, Multiply Churches. Leadership is about people.
5. Equip nights
Once per month, on a Wednesday night we run Equip nights. We seek to equip people for leadership and ministry, these are open to all. These nights are filled with leadership teaching, practical equipping and discussions around ministry. This is also an environment for ministering to the leaders in our Church, without such a distinct environment, people can isolate themselves, making pastoral ministry to Leaders difficult.
6. Commitment to Character
One who desires to be a leader in any capacity need be committed to character and the transparency that proves such. At times, as you walk, our Leadership team will meet with you and ask hard questions, questions seeking to test integrity. Leadership is about the stewardship of something that is not ours, Christ is the head of the Church and we steward such a responsibility with care and diligence.
Leadership is not really something someone learns in a class room environment alone, it is something learned in the trenches. For the prupose of specific learning we do run 'Equip nights' and other special events however we encourage you to serve. In serving we position to step into influence.