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Leadership in Formation

We often talk about people developing into leadership indicating a process of learning, growing, being mentored and ministry formation. I have used the term "finished minister" to indicate that someone is ready to be released into autonomous ministry. This is not to say that all finished ministers are not called to continual growth and learning, nor that the minister operates alone.

I believe that any finished minister can look back to a lengthy period of growth and learning both directly the result of other people and also from the way God has engaged them on that journey. Churches or bodies of christians also go through this process. This is very clear in the case of the church plant where the majority of the church has little experience or maturity and are still working out what church is. In established churches we also see this process when the central church paradigms are changed. While the church may agree with the change it is not yet second nature.

During this process we don't see the kind of organic leadership interaction we see in mature churches or relationships between mature leaders.

· People tend to make mistakes in action, attitude and understanding

· Mature leaders who are mentoring churches or people tend to be much more dictatorial and dogmatic. They often don't have the common ground to be otherwise.

It is important for our understanding of New Testament leadership to realize that practically all the churches and the majority of the Christians are young and immature. Taking many of the examples, from Paul yelling at the Galatians to Peter rebuking the Samaritans, as a norm can result in a picture of leadership that is authoritarian and dictatorial.

1) Mt 10:24-25, Jn 15:14-15

· What is Jesus' understanding about preparing for ministry?

· Does it match the concept of ministry formation and then release as "finished ministers"?

2) Mt 8:23-27

· What stage of the ministry formation process are these disciples at?

· What mistakes in action, attitude and understanding are they making?

3) Mt 10:1, 5-15,11:1

· What stage of the ministry formation process are these disciples at?

· Why the detailed instructions?

· How autonomous were the disciples?

· Was Jesus with them?

4) Acts 2:14

· What stage of the ministry formation process are these disciples at?

· Where is Jesus now?

· How much do they still have to learn?

· How autonomous were the disciples?

5) Acts 12:12, 25, 13:5,13,15:37-40, Col 4:10, 2Tim 4:11, Phm 24

· Was John Mark useless as a leader?

· What stage of leadership formation was John Mark at in each passage?

· What happened to change him from someone that Paul wanted so little he fought with Barnabas to a valuable co-worker?

6) 1K 19:19-21

· What stage of formation was Elisha in?

· What mistakes in action, attitude and understanding did he make?

7) 2K 2:1-8

· What stage of formation was Elisha in?

· What mistakes in action, attitude and understanding did he make?

8) 2K 2:11-15

· What stage of formation was Elisha in?

· What mistakes in action, attitude and understanding did he make?

These three passages about Elisha are interesting in that they only show the very beginning of the journey and the end. In 2K 2 we see Elisha as an essentially finished minister and the process of his release into ministry. Many argue that Elisha went on to become a greater prophet than Elijah.

9) Ex 17:8-14, 24:13

· What stage of formation was Joshua in?

10) Ex 32:17,18, 33:11, Num 11:26-30, 13:31-14:9, 27:15-23, Jos 1:10-11

· What stages in each passage of formation was Joshua in?

· What mistakes in action, attitude and understanding did he make?

· What were the right things he was doing?