A lack of unity within the leadership of any body will prevent healthy growth.
The American Church has been delivering statistics of decline and ineffectiveness as reported by denominations, and researchers for many years. Little evidence is seen that the majorities of those claiming to be Christians are living a life articulated and called for in the Bible.
In our work since June of 2000 we have found overworked, burned-out pastors who have struggled for years to turn this situation around, lay people with the necessary spiritual gifts but not really engaged, or with no idea how to help, and with the need for significantly higher spiritual maturity in their lives. In working with dozens of local churches, various judicatories, statewide denominational groups and a prominent seminaries, we have not only gained a unique perspective on why the church in America is not positively impacting today’s society in a significant manner but we also are seeing a way out of this situation. As we have focused on discovering and developing process that fit with the timeless principles of our faith, we are seeing transformation and health. We are convinced that God is at work across this world revitalizing His church and we believe that we have an important part to play in that revival.
To truly love as Christ loved we must be willing to risk becoming incarnational leaders--leaders who leave the comfort of their own culture and circumstances to find ways to connect and unify others.
When working with God you should expect the miraculous.
We are trying to answer the one question - "how can the church be more effective at making disciples"?
This is a big open question. We believe that we will see:
Generative Transformation... Beyond Imagination...! (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Joining Jesus in His revolution discovering, developing, and deploying passionate spiritual leaders
Developing SPIRITUAL LEADERS
who model community that loves, learns, and leads together,
creating environments that foster transformation,
and establishing processes that produce fruit.
Becoming SPIRITUAL LEADERS
- We believe God is building the Church, and does so through Spiritual Leaders.
- This means leadership as Christ practiced it, preparing the self as a servant of others for the sake of God’s mission.
- Real leadership and spirituality are synergistic in that they feed off of each other and are more powerful together. SLI’s walk-along-side process fosters growth in both areas.
- We recognize that without spiritual self discipline and self sacrifice we cannot become servant leaders.
- We must conform to the image of Christ if we wish to lead as Christ led.
- We must continuously embrace and model this type of walk-along-side leadership.
Modeling CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY that learns and leads together
- The Christian way of life is meant to be lived in community, for it is in community that we see a clear picture of Christ. Each individual reflects a distinctly unique aspect of God, and this diversity when united reveals a more complete picture of God’s nature and goodness.
- There are no isolated members of the body of Christ.
- No one or their work is insignificant.
- No ministry is too large or too small.
- We are called to duplicate believers, leaders, ministries, including SLI.
- We are called to learn, repeatedly discovering, continually refining, continually focusing.
- As iron sharpens iron, so should Christians strive to love each other to excellence for Christ. SLI models a type of Christian community where participants can learn and mature and where they will eventually long to reproduce genuine community and live a life of continuous learning.
Creating ENVIRONMENTS that foster transformation
A transformational environment is a “safe place” for growth. This means:
- A place where we do not feel judged but do feel accountable,
- Where we do not feel ignorant but do realize growth potential,
- Where we do not feel incompetent but we do recognize our flaws and partner with others to allow Christ to grow us into leaders.
- We must know this kind of environment so well that we can reproduce it.
- A transformational environment fosters positive risk taking growth. It incorporates aspects of accountability groups, learning groups, and planning groups.
- The Holy Spirit uses our walk-along-side process to transform individuals so that they in turn can transform their worlds.
Establishing PROCESSES that produce fruit
We are not emphasizing CONTENT or ANSWERS but the PROCESSES for adapting and overcoming. We recognize that often today’s right answers are tomorrow’s mistakes, so we emphasize PROCESSES and QUESTIONS above short term answers and immediate fixes. We are not about giving a fish, but about enabling others to fish.
- SLI leaders model coaching, not teaching, and like Jesus they instruct more with questions than with lectures.
- This style of leadership is modeled so that participants can reproduce it.
Systems and Strategies
Definition of Discover:
Activities and functions that help persons discover and be discovered around their calling in Spiritual Leadership. SLI coaches are looking for those who resonate with the process and have the capacities to move to the Develop stage
% growth in number of projects
% growth of interest in SLI
% growth of investors in SLI
Definition of Develop
Activities and functions that help Passionate Spiritual Leaders and their Teams to grow spiritually, to grow their capacities, to grow their skills and to risk health in their ministries.
% growth in Coach Training
% growth in SLI Teams
Definition of Deploy
Activities and functions that work to develop generative ministries and partnerships to grow SLI's abilities to reach its vision.
% growth in number of SLI Certified Coaches
% Change in Communities/region -poverty, crime, disciples, etc...