Dr. Phil – As a ministry our focus is helping leaders train up others. If leaders fail to do this, not only do they fail in their fundamental responsibility, but Gospel witness in a community and nation suffers. Yet what does it take to be the kind of leader who is engaged in mentoring the next generation? As with astronauts. . . it takes more than just thinking it is a good idea. After several decades of training and mobilizing leaders to reproduce themselves, I have discovered that there is one key component necessary if one is going to have the right stuff to mentor others.
It is even more fundamental than the ability to teach, one’s social skills, or commitment to doctrinal truth. . .all of which are vital and important. But what is irreplaceable is the commitment to Jesus’ model of servant leadership. This is so crucial for if we are not committed to decreasing so that others may increase; to being vulnerable rather than protecting our turf; we will not be willing to mentor someone with the intention that they will be able to take over from where we left off. Instead, we will be threatened and keep others at a distance and try to create the illusion of our own leadership perfection. This is antithetical to the servant leader model we see in Jesus.
As it turns out, servant leadership is not just a good idea, it is a fundamental requirement for the mentoring process. Jesus’ authority did not originate from a title or position, it came from his willingness to be a servant and take up his cross (Phil. 2). We as his followers can do no less. Without this fundamental value and attitude, leaders have a tendency to make sure they are the ones getting all the credit and that everyone knows that they are really in charge. This inevitably stifles healthy mentoring relationships. Instead of helping others “surpass” us we expends vast amounts of energy just making sure they are lined up “behind” us.
But if one is a servant leader (do not read “doormat” or “weak” leader, but one who is committed to equipping others), it becomes rather natural to share all we know and have with someone else so that they will be further ahead by the time they get to our stage of life. Instead of holding them back, we try to give them as much responsibility/authority as they can handle so that they in turn may be best prepared to reach their generation (go to our website, www.icmcanada.org to see our “Servant Leadership Evaluation Tool” and other materials.)
Our goal as a ministry is to see a network of leaders developed who have this right stuff. While the results are long term, they do not happen overnight. This is why we are committed to playing the long game. Thank you for standing with us, as your ongoing partnerships reflects this same commitment to the long game of together fulfilling Matt 28:19-20.