Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Capacity Of A Leader

You want a mirror shattering statement?

Perhaps your church or ministry is not growing because of "YOU".

Go ahead look in the mirror. You may be looking at the problem.

"Well...God bless...I'm just going to be faithful with the eleven people God wants me to have."

"Well...maybe God only wants me to have just a few people"

Pathetic...NEWSFLASH...God has come to seek and save the lost. God is more concerned than we will ever be with reaching the lost. His desire is for every church to grow. Get a clue. That means your church is the size it is...because of the capacity of your leadership.

If it is small or big it is because of the capacity of your leadership working in conjunction with the work of the Holy Spirit.

I think it is easy to sit and just lay it on God and say He is the one that is not bringing it to me. Honestly, it is time we as leaders of the church need to stand up and take responsibility repent for this, especially if you have a heart to impact this world.

Your church or ministry is the size it is because of your capacity to lead and the people with whom you surround yourself.

Let me state that another way for those of you that didn't get it.

The capacity of your leadership determines the size of your ministry.

In a future post we are going to look at the story of the three stewards in Matthew 25 and then we will also look at how we can increase our capacity.

What excuses have you been making?

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chris said...


I totally agree with you in that the size of a church is determined by the pastor's ability to lead. But here's the thing,the ability to lead, in and of itself is not a virtue. Even wicked people display amazing leadership ability.
Secondly, it is godly leadership that is required. You mention Matthew 25. Well, in that passage it reads that the master gave talents to "...each according to his ability." Where did each get their ability? Who gave them intelligence? Why are some people smarter than others? Is it genetic? Why did the different stewards yeild different results? They yielded different results because each produced "according to his ability." The last one was just unfaithul.
I believe God gives to each person a certain amount of ability and like you, I believe, as pastors, we ought to be always working on and refining our leadership skills, but the problem is that the pursuit of leadership is often "idolized" and in the John Maxwell world the steward who produced only two talents would be criticized by the others because he produced so little yet the response from the master is "Well done, good and faithful servant."

Then you have the question of who determines what a healthy church membership number is and if once you arrive at that then you must ask how one arrived at that number. I mean if you really keep pushing this why not say God is a terrible leader because, according to the bible, most people will perish in the end? The typical response may be "well, people have free will", but that is besides the point. The point is, why can't God lead everybody into heaven? Unless one believes he is not running things(Sovereignty)then you have theoligical problems like deism.
There are so many other issues involved here that are very problematic, but I'll leave it at that.

Jason Curlee said...

Great Response much to tackle in there.

I'm going to agree with a whole bunch in there. I'll probably touch a lot on the Matthew 25 point in a future post but I'll say this to answer some of your questions.

God gave each of them their abilities as well as intelligence.

I believe that people can improve their state of intelligence as well as those abilities. On top of that I believe it is our God given responsibility to develop ourselves..."I" believe that is the essence of stewardship to a huge degree as the story implies.

I also feel in the story that God gave to them according to their ability at that moment. I could theorize that God knew that the last one would be unfaithful and not produce therefore He didn't give him much.

I also agree that leadership can be "idolized". I'm sure I come close to that. You are also right in saying that who determines what a healthy church membership number is.

A better way to state it would be "are you continually producing with the ability and talent God gave you." By that I mean, if God entrusted you with 10 to start. Did you grow it to 15 or 20? If God entrusted you with a 100 did you grow to 125 or 150?

A church that is fulfilling the great commission should be one that is growing. I don't know anyone that would truly say that it's not.

I don't picture in anyway as a pastor saying, "well God gave me these ten so I'm going to be faithful and shepard just them." And God being totally pleased with that.

Now I know that's subjective to my opinion.

As to your last point...hmmm..."why can't God lead everybody into heaven?" I'm not sure I want to touch that one. I guess my bow out response would be "free will". But the truth is that doesn't keep God from trying and I believe that's what we should do as well.

Jason Curlee said...

Any one out there want to add to that or respond to both sides. Would love your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

... and the capacity of your leadership is determined by your level of meekness.

this post is full of self condemnation.

Jason Curlee said...

Now to re-iterate on my post...

After a conversation with my wife, who felt I came off arrogant and I always give props to Chris who challenges me as well. I did some thinking.

There is a huge part in my post that, well came off very, very strong...shall I re-phrase...arrogant.

In my own words I said...

"Well...God bless...I'm just going to be faithful with the eleven people God wants me to have."

"Well...maybe God only wants me to have just a few people"


I can understand and admit that came from a time of frustration in my life. A time that I am no longer at nor want to be tied to. It came from being involved with people who hurt me.

I will stand behind everything else I wrote and don't believe it is a cause for anyone to feel condemned. I wrote that from a statement that was resonating in me this morning. A statement where I have to look in the mirror and am asking myself.

The hard part about a blog is that what you write is there and sometimes it is not all explained.

I don't write that from a point of having a church of a 1,000 or 10,000. I write it from a perspective of a husband trying to lead his family. A church planter trying to figure out how with God's help to put together a team to launch a church. From a person who was asked to resign from a church in the past. From a person who I feel has been genuinely broken and only wants to serve God and win the lost. A person who has a passion for helping others become better in their lives.

I don't always write with the elegance of grace and compassion as much as a passion to be and do more.

In a nutshell, I really believe and challenge myself in everything I wrote in this post. At the same time I feel I threw in some cheap shots of which I humbly apologize if I offended any of my readers with it.

Jason Curlee said...

Interesting...apparently one person feels I'm not being meek and that what I wrote is self condemning. I always stand behind what I write since I sign my name off to it. It is easier to accept correction when it comes with a name attached to it.

Anonymous I know it's easy to hide behind anonymity but I would love to understand if my post came off as judgmental to you as your statement obviously was to me.

Would you mind elaborating. Should that have read "Jason the capacity of "your" leadership is determined by your level of meekness that you have not shown that you have in writing this post".


our ability to lead and develop, while given by God, has to be cultivated by US.
I pray that, we as leaders, can continue to stretch ourselves.

Anonymous said...

No i didn't put Jason because that wasn't my thought. Sorry I came off wrong in my comment. After reading your post I thought about great leaders in the bible and Moses when I made the meekness comment. ANd after rereading your post it sounded like a post to self.
I only know you from your blog and knowing you're in the midst of planting a church. I hope great things for you and your family.

And i am anonymous because i don't have a blogger id and know one would know me anyway.

oh and nobody wants you to write with elegant and grace if it aint YOUR style!

You know the great thing about God is he doesn't keep score like us. He loves us even when we can't seem to meet our goals (speaking generally here). Churches make goals for what reason? To measure they're own success. Leaders become great only by god.
I know this will sound old school but it works i have witnessed it... if you want your group to grow continue praying as a group and commune with your group. when god's people are in unity he does phenomenal things and he brings the increase.

Jason Curlee said...

Thanks for the response leave your name you don't need a google or blogger can do like Chris did and click on the Name/Url put your name in and if you don't have a url it doesn't matter. I know I came off hard back at you. I view blogging as community where I interact with people. It is weird talking to someone Anonymously...that is obviously participating in the community.

As per your response...thanks and yes I do agree that meekness is a great part of Godly leadership. Moses is a great example to that. I also see that Moses increased his capacity to lead by going to Jethro and getting advice that leaded to him being more organized.

Sometimes I feel church leaders are in a position that Moses was his breaking point. They are praying and it sometimes doesn't seem to be working. Learning to lead, being more organized, implementing systems, delegating are all points I believe are also part of being a Godly leader.

I do not want to take prayer and unity out because it by far is a huge thing...I just feel there are other dimensions that church leaders also need to focus on.

Great dialog...any more thoughts out there

chris said...

Jason, you wrote you are “…a husband trying to lead his family.” That is a tremendously healthy perspective. In fact, I would argue that is the biblical place to start in leadership. You also ask "are you continually producing with the ability and talent God gave you." This too is a healthy question. It pretty much just boils down to stewardship.
Now, if we are stewards then what are we to be stewards of? Another word for steward is trustee. What have we been entrusted with? I say it is the Gospel.
Thanks for the clarifications on your post.