Monday Morning Insights

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    What do Flourishing Churches All Have in Common?

    What do Flourishing Churches All Have in Common?

    “What flourishing churches have in common is that they are led by people who possess and deploy the spiritual gift of leadership.  Whenever and wherever I have found a high-impact, Acts 2, prevailing church, I have also discovered a little band of brothers and sisters who were humbly and prayerfully providing the vision, the strategy, and the inspiration that enabled an entire congregation to bear fruit abundantly.  Please understand, it’s not that I believe the gift of leadership is more important than other gifts.  It’s simply that people with the gift of leadership are uniquely equipped to come up with strategies and structures that provide opportunities for other people to use their gifts most effectively.  Leaders see the big picture and understand how to help others find their place of service within that picture.”

    I've also seen this for a long time.  I have the opportunity and privilege to work each and every day with some of the best church leaders in the country.  These guys and gals are leading dynamic churches and ministries.  And every church that I've seen that is making dramatic strides in reaching their communities... every single one of them... has a strong leader or group of leaders that is heading up the process.

    Is it possible for a church to grow and flourish without leadership?  Yeah, I suppose if God chose to bless a church like that, it could.  But it seems that God many times chooses to bless the churches that have leaders that are faithfully and diligently getting the job done.

    Does that surprise anyone?



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    1. Peter Hamm on Tue, November 10, 2009

      Todd, you wrote [Is it possible for a church to grow and flourish without leadership?] I think in God’s economy it isn’t. It’s not how he works in the NT at all, and it’s not how I see it work at all in the world.

      Of course all things are possible with God, but as somebody who has been in churches with spiritually gifted leaders AND those without… I don’t see God work that way.

    2. Andymcadams on Tue, November 10, 2009

      Good stuff Todd….thanks.  Just as dynamic churches all seem to have leadership that are willing to lead into change, the reverse is true also.  Churches that seemingly are going nowhere have people in positions of leadership that fear change and do little or nothing out of fear.  What’s sad is they just can’t see that they are part of a slow death to their churches.

    3. Peter Hamm on Tue, November 10, 2009


      I’ve seen exactly the same thing in business, too!

    4. Richard H on Wed, November 11, 2009

      That’s probably why that Jesus fellow did such a poor job gathering and keeping a group of people together. Lacking the gift of leadership, just as he’d finally get a crowd, he’d go and say (“Eat my flesh, drink my blood”) or do (get arrested) something wacky.

    5. Peter Hamm on Wed, November 11, 2009


      Jesus had all the gifts. Not exactly sure what your remark really meant, but I think that God would appreciate us using our gifts of leadership to lead diligently. I might even argue that Scripture commands it.

    6. Richard H on Wed, November 11, 2009

      Why do you think Jesus had all the gifts?

      My snarky comment was based on the common assumption that a “prevailing” church is a “successful” church, growing and successful in terms of our contemporary understanding of growth and success. When I see the results of Jesus’ actions, I see something rather different than an “Acts 2” church. Certainly the “Acts 2” church couldn’t happen without what Jesus did, but they are very different in appearance.
      As a pastor I would rather lead an “Acts 2” kind of church (better than having all my friends leave me to be crucified alone), but not having the gift of leadership, I can’t do that.

    7. Peter Hamm on Wed, November 11, 2009

      Richard, I still don’t get it. What exactly was wrong with the Hybels quote?

    8. Christopher Fontenot on Wed, November 11, 2009

      I would like Hybels to define flourishing.

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