THE CELL LEADER'S MANUAL
INTRODUCTION: Leadership is a critical component of success in any organisation. However, it is also extremely difficult to define it as a concept or to derive generally applicable principles — as the academic literature on organisations and leadership so clearly shows.
Happily, in studying Christian discipleship, we have a powerful example, Jesus: "And (Jesus) went up to the mountain and summoned those whom he himself wanted, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve that they might be with him, and that he might send them out . . . " (Mark , 14; NASB.) So, in the prototype Christian cell group, already we see the impact of leadership through relationship and example, biblical teaching and training, vision and life-transforming power through the Spirit.
That is, Christian leadership is visionary and transformational. Its focus is not that “I got what you want, so you give me what I want,” but rather that through a vision from God worked out and exemplified in lives and relationships, faithful disciples can be moulded to carry on Jesus’ work in the world. For, Jesus came, descending, serving, liberating, dying for our sins, rising and ascending “in order to fill all things.” [Eph 4:9 – 10.]
It is in that context that he gave leaders to the church, to equip God’s people for works of service, so that as God’s people fill their lives with Christ’s grace, liberation, healing, deliverance, transforming power and glory, the whole world would more and more be filled with Christ.
Clearly, then, the quality of leadership we manifest will be decisive in carrying forward that process of filling all things with Christ.
Consequently, our first task is to clarify where we stand as leaders, through reflection on key leadership characteristics. So, this leadership training manual starts with a self-rated leadership survey, to which we should now turn.
(After you have completed the course, and again and again as you go out to lead, we invite you to return to it, to measure progress.)
"If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task."
[1 Tim. 3:3.]
The Church has always needed capable, dedicated, exemplary and effective leaders. The problem is what makes a leader capable or effective.
The following test is an attempt to pin down some of the keys to effective leadership. Do it, prayerfully and honestly, with a good friend. Rate yourselves, and one another, compare, and discuss good points and poor points.
I. Rate yourself on the following scale: 1-poor; 2-mediocre; 3-fair; 4-good; 5-very good. Examine each quality, reflect on what it means, and give yourself a numerical score:
1. Initiative: the ability to act without having to be told what to do. [ ]
2. Energy: the opposite of laziness, apathy, and putting off doing what
needs to be done. [ ]
3. Confidence: being sure of yourself and what you are trying to do,
neither being crippled by fear nor foolhardy. [ ]
4. Vision: the ability, given through God’s insight, to see the possibilities
in a situation and thus know how to act, so that God’s power breaks
into the situation to transform it for good . [ ]
5. Clarity: being able to think, speak, and act without hesitation,
ambiguity or confusion. [ ]
6. Balance: the ability to see both sides of an issue, and to work out the
best path in the light of both sides. [ ]
7. Integrity: having convictions, and having the courage to live by
them. [ ]
8. Humility: being willing to surrender your rights, status, and
privileges to serve, even in menial chores. [ ]
9. Compassion: being open in your heart to the pains of the other
man. [ ]
10. Winsomeness: getting on well with other people: friendliness,
tact, diplomacy and consideration. [ ]
11. Teamwork: being able to work closely with others towards a common
purpose. [ ]
12. Planning ability: the ability to formulate clear goals, and to work out
effective paths to attain them. [ ]
13. Administrative ability: the ability to bind people , skills, money, time
and plans together to achieve goals. [ ]
14. Soundness: the ability to bring common sense to bear on
confusing situations to make wise decisions. [ ]
15. Biblical soundness and knowledge: having a comprehensive, correct
and practical grasp of the Bible and its teachings. [ ]
16. Spiritual maturity: leading a life of diligent service submitted to the
Lordship of Christ, and marked by love, truth, power and holiness. [ ]
II. Leaders work with people, whom they must help weld into a team, which must work to fulfill its task. As a result, leaders must balance themselves, the individuals, the
team and the task.
1. Examine the traits and skills listed. How do they contribute to the team, the task, and the person?
2. How well would you perform as a leader?
3. What are your strong and weak areas?
4. What will you do about them?
5. How? How soon?