developing missional leaders

I think I linked to this article before, but I wanted to post it here again – as I re-read it & it struck me freshly – how important this is – to develop leaders…


“About six years ago the German football team was at a crossroads. They were playing what many people thought was a boring brand of the beautiful game. They were a defensive team and while they could sometimes win on the counter when it came to winning a game with their own strategy they really struggled. Losing Euro 2004 was the final disaster and the German Federation did some thinking. They changed leadership and philosophy but MOST IMPORTANTLY they changed their approach to developing players.

Jurgen Klinsman was brought in as a manager with new ideas. Klinsman had recently been a player so he was more of a practitioner instead of a theoretician. Also, he had played a couple of seasons in the English premier League which is undoubtedly the most watched football competition in the world and is known for its attacking flair. Ironic when you consider the way they played in this years World Cup in South Africa.

At this years World Cup the Germans have been inspirational. A young team. Fearless and the only team who has consistently found a way to score goals – lots of goals against different opponents. They planned six years ago for what is happening now. They deliberately found a way to develop the players they needed to lead the world again in the game of football.

We all bemoan the fact that it is proving hard to identify and prepare the catalytic leaders we need to sustain planting movements in our country. But what have we actually been doing? We have been training pastor-teachers. This is important too. But if we want a planting movement we have to find and develop fearless young leaders who will pay any price to do evangelism and disciple-making. My guess is they won’t go to our present training institutions because they simply don’t want to be pastor-teachers.

To find these catalytic leaders we must change they way we talk about mission; then we must change the way we relate to the young catalytic but difficult to manage young men and women in and around our churches; then we must change the way we train them and above all we must change the way we support them in an ongoing manner.”

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