Leadership Growth Series: Landing Page

“Leaders are merchants of hope”, said Napoleon. They know of a better place, a better way of life, and as they go there they inspire others to follow and make this hope a reality.  Biblically this is true.  And our world is in dire need of more such leaders!  But where will they come from?

Says Leanard Sweet: “Leaders are neither born nor made.  They are summoned.  They are called into existence by circumstances.  Those that rise to the occasion are leaders.” [i]

This 13-Week Leadership Growth Series aimed to develop and prepare leaders to lead with certainty and skillfulness from the heart. The posts will help you grow to become the type of leader that inspire others to realize these hopes. Look at this introductory video which gives scope to the Leadership Growth Series.

Below is the outline of our 13-week program.  In the introduction we give context to our discussion on leadership by asking: what is the nature of leadership? Then we delve into the core characteristics of leadership within our church context – fist studying it, then considering how to grow in it.  After that we consider the compulsion (the go-get-it attitude) required for strong, confident leadership.  After this we will look at three different sets of competencies (or skills) required in Christian leadership: facilitation and hosting, confrontation and care, then participation and activation within the wider community.  Lastly we consider the charisma or gifts God graces us with, and how to grow in it.

Do you recognize any area where you think you can grow as leader?  Then click on the link to see the introductory video and do the devotional study.

A 13-Week reflective devotional study A Biblical view of Leadership 
Introduction: growing leadership capacity Pathway to leadership growth
Context: What is leadership?
Leading small groups
Charismic (gifts) approach
Character approach
Competence (skills) approach
Compulsion (needs-driven) approach
Character: Growing in the Imitation of Christ
Candid (authentic) How to grow in being Candid
Compassionate (growing in love) How to grow in Compassion
Christlike humility How to grow in Christlike humility
Confident (hopefulness) How to grow in Confidence
Consistent (faithfulness) How to grow in Consistency
Compulsion: Growing in Responsibility
Conscious awareness of opportunities How to grow in Conscious awareness
Considerate to the needs of others How to grow in Consideration
Confident, bold, fearless actions How to grow in Confident actions
Courage, taking risks How to grow in Courage
Charge, ownership of the community How to grow in taking Charge
Competencies of a leader: Growing in Prophetic flow
Crowd (showing hospitality) – AWE How to hosting Crowds
Cause participation How to Cause participation
Charismata (facilitating Spirit-ministry) How grow in Charismatic gifts
Curiosity (asking heart questions) How to grow in Curiosity
Communion with God (Worship,Prayer) How to facilitate Communion with God
Competencies of a leader: Growing in Pastoral care
Care and Comfort the fragile How to Care and Comfort the fragile
Confront in love How to Confront in love
Challenge for growth How to Challenge for growth
Coach next steps How to Coach next steps
Commit responsibilities to others
Competencies of a leader: Growing in Evangelistic outflow
Core vision and values How to cultivate Core vision and values
Compelling communication How to communicate Compellingly
Connect to new people How to Connect new people
Community building How to build Community
Commission members in church How to Commission members
Charisma of a leader: Flowing in the Streams of Grace
Cultivating apostolic grace How to grow in apostolic grace
Cultivating prophetic grace How to grow in prophetic grace
Cultivating pastoral grace How to grow in pastoral grace
Cultivating teaching grace How to grow in teaching grace
Cultivating evangelistic grace How to grow in evangelic grace

Lastly, the cost of leadership is should be considered.

Where can you grow? Jump in today!

Leadership are compelled to actions by the conscious awareness of opportunities

One of the greatest temptations of leadership if to use your position of authority and influence to see how you could better yourself and not to people you are meant to lead and care for. 

In this short introductory session by De Waal Esterhuizen (pastor of Shofar Christian Church in Malmesbury) he shows how leaders lead with a constant awareness of the needs and opportunities that arise. (https://youtu.be/KYVmWaxl4qQ)


Ezekiel 34:1-10

1  The word of the LORD came to me: 2  “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep? 3  You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep. 4  The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. 5  So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts. 6  My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them.”

Observation and reflection questions

Note: If time allows please read the whole of Ezekiel 34.

  1. Whom were these “shepherds” against which Ezekiel prophesied?
  2. List the accusations against “the shepherds of Israel”.
  3. Now try to translate these metaphoric accusations back into real life. (for example “shepherds clothe themselves with the wool” (v3) could mean leaders abuse rights for own personal comfort rather than the betterment of their people)
  4. Suggest one word that best sums up the leadership of Israel in the Ezekiel’s day.
  5. Consider the analogy of “leader as shepherd” – what good qualities of leadership are portrayed in the nature of shepherding sheep?
  6. Which of these accusations listed above are relevant of present-day politics in your country? Why do you say that?

Personal reflection and application questions

Ezekiel accused the leaders of Israel for being self-centered, looking for opportunities to better themselves at the cost of the people they were leading.  But good leaders are always looking for ways to better their people and their environment.   

  1. Consider your past and present leadership (at home, at work, at church, in community, etc). a. Were there instances where you have been tempted to serve your own interests in leadership rather than the interest of those you were called to look after?
  2. On which occasions have you failed when your decisions or actions served yourself at the cost of those you were called to lead?
  3. Leadership implies power and authority. How could you as leader safeguard yourself and those you lead against abuse of others and self-serving? [hint: full disclosure]
  4. Memorise this proverb and let it be your motto of the day Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.” (Proverbs 3:27)


Thank God for what he has entrusted to you, and commit yourself to serve him and those he sends across your path with selflessness and joy.


True leaders lead by compulsion

Leadership is not a philosophy – leadership is action. And you don’t need a title to be a leader – you simply need to lead by taking action!

Before reflecting on today’s devotional text, take a moment to watch this short introductory video on Leadership as Compulsion (https://youtu.be/xqRu4l-DTYw).


Numbers 25:1-15

1  While Israel lived in Shittim, the people began to whore with the daughters of Moab. 2  These invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. 3  So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. 4  And the LORD said to Moses, “Take all the chiefs of the people and hang them in the sun before the LORD, that the fierce anger of the LORD may turn away from Israel.” 5  And Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Each of you kill those of his men who have yoked themselves to Baal of Peor.”

6  And behold, one of the people of Israel came and brought a Midianite woman to his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the people of Israel, while they were weeping in the entrance of the tent of meeting. 7  When Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose and left the congregation and took a spear in his hand 8  and went after the man of Israel into the chamber and pierced both of them, the man of Israel and the woman through her belly. Thus the plague on the people of Israel was stopped.  9  Nevertheless, those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand.

10  And the LORD said to Moses, 11  “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the people of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the people of Israel in my jealousy. 12  Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him my covenant of peace, 13  and it shall be to him and to his descendants after him the covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the people of Israel.'” 14  The name of the slain man of Israel, who was killed with the Midianite woman, was Zimri the son of Salu, chief of a father’s house belonging to the Simeonites. 15  And the name of the Midianite woman who was killed was Cozbi the daughter of Zur, who was the tribal head of a father’s house in Midian.

Observation and reflection questions

  1. Let’s review the incident by briefly answering the following questions:
    • Moses called the nation to the Tabernacle of God (or “tent of meeting”) – why? [verses 1-3]
    • To whom did Moses give the instruction to execute these promiscuous offenders? [verse 5]
    • What did Zimri do and why was it so offensive – especially in the sight of the repenting assembly? [verse 6]
    • The whole nation saw what was happening but only one man responded. Who was he, what was his vocation/office and what action did he take? [verse 7-8]
    • Phinehas took descisive action.  How did God respond to the nation and how did God reward Phinehas? [verses 8, 10-13]
  2. The whole nation gathered and heard the command of the Lord regarding sexual promiscuity with the idol-worshiping people locals. Everyone saw Zimri’s bold contemptuous action, but only Phinehas had the courage to act.
    • Based on your experience with people, why do you think no-one else took action?
    • Based on Moses command earlier, who would you think should have taken action first?
    • Who was the true leader in this story?

Personal reflection and application

The nation of God was in a bad shape morally, resulting in a plague.  Moses called the nation to repent and reform, but at that moment a man showed contempt to God at the hight of the nation’s remorse.  None of the leaders dared move, but a young priest felt compelled to take decisive action, bringing an end to the plague and earning God’s reward for it.

  1. Based on past situations…
    • …would you be more inclined to step in and do what is necessary, or would you hope someone else does it first?
    • …would you be more inclined to confront someone who does something blatantly wrong or would you look away and hope someone else does that?
    • …would you be more inclined to wait for someone else to initiate a conversation in a difficult relationship, or would you initiate that conversation?
    • …what caused you to hesitate from taking decisive action in critical situations? [think it through, pray that the Lord help you see your motives]
  2. Memorize Peter’s instruction to “add to your faith courage…” (2 Peter 1:5).
    1. Commit in prayer today to not fear failure or ridicule, but courageously stand up for what is right.
    2. Keep this phrase in mind throughout the day; let it reveal your motives and let it stir you to decisive action for what is right and good.