at Resurrection Church
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” - Matthew 28:18-20
As the church, we are called to follow Jesus and continue his work of spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth. For this to happen, the church needs healthy leaders to model and equip others (the saints) in the biblical methods of making disciples.
It’s been said, “As the leaders go, so goes the church.” We believe this is true. If our leaders are healthy and vibrant then our church will be healthy and vibrant. For this reason, we believe a unified approach to leadership development is critical for the overall health and wellbeing of Resurrection Church. The intention of this Leadership Development Strategy is to give the direction and guidelines needed to multiply healthy leaders.
Likewise, our church values will give shape to how we live out our biblical convictions:
A common mistake many churches make is focusing on “how” to develop leaders without ever considering the “what” or “why” of leadership development. To ensure we don’t make this mistake our approach to leadership development will include theology (what), philosophy (why) and methodology (how).
First, we will start with what a leader is by allowing the bible determine our theology and define leadership. Second, we will focus on principles for leadership by allowing our theology to determine our philosophy of leadership. And lastly, we will clarify how leaders will be developed, by determining our methodology through our philosophy of leadership.
Think of this approach like building a house. Every new construction house starts by building a foundation. The foundation determines the integrity and longevity of the house. If the foundation is strong the house will stand firm and endure. Once, a solid foundation has been established then the framers put on the decking and build the walls. The walls give shape to the house and provide safe boundaries to live within. Load bearing walls support the roof and ensure that the house is structurally sound. Without load bearing walls the house will lean and eventually fall apart. Once, several solid load bearing walls have been established then the framers put on the roof and the structure is complete. However, the work is not done. Then comes time for all the interior work: insulation, sheetrock, electrical, plumbing, flooring and finishes. Before the interior work happens the house looks like a lifeless shell. But after the interior work happens the house starts to look and feel like a home. Once the house is finished, we can decorate the house and make it live in ready.
Now, take the illustration of building a house and bring it into the world of leadership development. Jesus and his word - the bible - is the foundation. Everything is built on the foundation. Our theological convictions are the walls. Our primary theological convictions are the load bearing walls (these are the things that are very important for us and must be kept in a closed hand, things like our church doctrine statement). Our secondary theological convictions are the other walls (these are things that are important but not mandatory for us to be in agreement on therefore they are kept in an open hand). Our philosophy of leadership is like the interior work. It gives color and style to our theological convictions. Our methodology is like decorating the house. Like furniture that can move around, our methods are fluid and will change from time to time, based on the needs of the church.
We envision Resurrection Church being one church across multiple cities through the South Puget Sound. For this reason we will have a regional vision that is expressed through local mission. For us to have solid leadership across the church we will strive to have unity in our philosophy of leadership. Simply put, our philosophy of leadership will be based on the following principles giving direction and clarity of how our methodology will function.
As Moses to Joshua (Exodus 24:13, Numbers 27:18, Deuteronomy 34:9), Elijah to Elisha (2 Kings 2:9, 15), Jesus to his apostles (Mark 1:17, John 15:1-17), and Paul to Timothy (2 Timothy 1:3-7, 13), development of both character and competency requires life on life mentorship. Though functions and events are helpful and necessary for training and relationship building, development of leaders will not occur primarily through functions or events.
Romans 12:4-5 says, “ For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function,  so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”
The church is like a body. Though we are many, we are one in Christ - that’s unity. Though we are one in Christ, we are many - that’s diversity. But all parts form one body - that’s interdependency. Like links in a chain, we are all part of the whole. This means that God has designed the church to be an interdependent family. However, we are not the same. God’s intended purpose is for the church to be made up of individuals who each have a unique personality and strengthens. As such we can celebrate our unity and diversity in Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-12, 15-16 says, “11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ… we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
Leaders of leaders have a biblical responsibility to equip the saints to do the work of ministry. To equip the saints effectively we need a leadership development strategy that considers the individual saint and develops that individual by disciples pouring into disciples. Our equipping will focus on: Training (biblical instruction), Apprenticeship (hands on activities/practices), and Immersion (life application).
1 Cor. 12:4-7 says, “4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”
As the body of Christ, we do not all have the same function or the same gifts. Each individual saint is given the exact spiritual gifts that God wants him or her to have for the good of the church. It is our responsibility to help each saint discover, develop and deploy his or her spiritual gifts by empowering leaders.
As demonstrated by Jesus slowly and purposefully developing the apostles and the apostles replicating his work by training up leaders, so will we will develop people in their leadership position, refraining from putting someone in a position without the proper training and apprenticeship.
Definition: God has called all believers to himself and into his work. The first responsibility of leadership development is to help potential leaders discover both how God has gifted them and where their gifts are needed within the church body. God has given each member of the body specific gifting and abilities so that, together, the body more fully represents him and is built up (Ephesians 4:7, 10-16; Romans 12:4-8; 1 Corinthians 12:12-30). Calling may be self-identified by a potential leader or encouraged by another church leader who sees their potential. Calling to a particular role within the body is best determined by 1) having the opportunity, 2) having the ability, and 3) having the calling confirmed by others. The assessments below may further help identify areas of calling.
Assessment tools include
• Spiritual gift assessment test - www.spiritualgiftstest.com/adult
• DISC test (from Converge) - www.convergecoachconsult.com/disc-products
• Enneagram personal profile - http://www.exploreyourtype.com/details
Through the assessment tool(s) potential leaders may be able to better discern their calling and ability to serve in various areas of the church as well as the particular role of leadership. Assessment should include a season of observation in order to confirm the person’s calling after they’ve begun functioning in their role.
Note: Calling should have an annual re-evaluation. This allows opportunity for leaders to confess if they are working out of obligation or if they are experiencing hard-heartedness, bitterness, or fatigue so they can be loved and supported.
Definition: A person’s character is the sum of his or her disposition, thoughts, intentions, desires, and actions. Essentially this means that character is both the condition of and expression of a person’s heart. All Christians are called to have the character of Christ - the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:16-26) - and leaders are called to live lives worthy of imitation (1 Cor 11:1, Heb 13:7). Leadership development is helping people mature in their character and identity in Christ, and their character flows out into how they will lead others.
Development: Character will be shaped and formed through walking with one another in relational discipleship. Our equipping model of training, apprenticeship, and immersion provides a tool for relationships to utilize as we build one another up. Leaders cultivate character by acquiring wisdom and understanding. Training will include biblical teaching on role specific character qualifications. Apprenticeship will include self-assessment and assessment by others (such as mentors or fellow cohort members) to identify areas of strength and weakness. Immersion will include a plan for steps to cultivating Christ-like character in those areas.
Definition: Leadership development includes equipping the saints for the work of ministry in a hands-on, practical manner. Regardless of which ministry area a leader serves in, there are “core” competencies that they should have and be growing in. To be effective ministry leaders, skills in the following areas are needed: discipleship, vision casting, strategy, personal development, and stewardship.
Development: Competency development will also utilize our equipping model of training, apprenticeship, and immersion. Training will include knowledge of practical skills. Apprenticeship will include actually practicing that skill. Immersion will be evaluation of that skill after a period of time in ministry practice.
Definition: Commission affirms readiness and sends people into leadership. This is done when a person achieves a satisfactory level of character and competency to match the ministry area and role. A person does not have to be “an expert” before empowering them to lead. Wisdom is needed, but taking appropriate risks on people is required. We strive to train up and send out leaders to continue repeating the leadership development process.
A commissioned person:
Does the work of ministry
Builds a team/group to do the work of ministry
Champions the vision, mission and values of Resurrection Church
Inspires others follow Jesus
Leads others to be disciple makers
Empowers others to build kingdom legacy
Development: Once someone is commissioned, they will continue to participate in Leadership Equip bi-annual intensives and monthly cohort meetings.