Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thoughts on Global Leadership

by Cindy Wiles,
Executive Director, GCPN

Have you noticed how many academic programs have begun including degree programs and concentrations in Global Leadership the last few years? I've spent a lot of time thinking about, reading about and looking at models of organizations and leadership in recent days. What I've realized is that many of the new and thriving organizations are less organizational and more ideological in nature. They are more organism than organization. They more resemble movements than structures. And it also appears to me that leadership has much more to do with tapping into the potential of the adherents than empowering a designated few.

Another thing I have noticed is the shift from hierarchical organizational structures to emphasis on community within mild structure. In a world characterized by wireless voices, text messages and global conferencing, the emphasis on community has become a huge factor in determining the success or failure of any movement. Depending on the measure of connectedness experienced by adherents, loyalty to a movement or organization can intensify or fade.

I think that's why the community aspect of GCPN has been such a drawing card for churches and organizations who are involved. The last facilitator training for GCPN was a warm reminder of the strength of community in mission. In a two-day conversation between the seven churches represented in the room, not only did we find camaraderie and friendship, but we also discovered the strengths of each mission leader and the corporate giftedness of each church that would benefit the movement as a whole. I left the training experience enriched by the people who were there and my ministry enhanced by the resources in the room. I knew when we walked out the door that the world Christian movement would in some way be strengthened by the fact that we had all come together.

As a missions leader I am challenged at this point in my calling to focus a lot less on what I personally possess in terms of leadership skill and to focus a whole lot more on what adherents to the Jesus movement have to offer to the Kingdom at large. If we want to tap into the power of God, then let us tap into those who possess His Spirit. If the Spirit reveals the mind of God to those who possess His Spirit (I Cor. 4:5-16), we as leaders have failed if we do not seek out the mind of God through the people of God. The key to Global Leadership is to seek to harmonize and implement the collective wisdom of the church which possesses the mind of Christ.

Wisdom is not the only resource the church possesses. What about the Spirit gifts and the skills of individuals and corporate bodies? I like to think of leadership from a Wild Bill Hickok point of view - we lasso the wind of the Spirit of God among his people not to control it but to ride upon it. If we have determined the strategy of our church or organization without assessing the gifts and skills of our people or without looking at our corporate giftedness as a whole, we have grossly miscalculated our potential and our end goals are nowhere near the mark God has set for us.

God has recently led my church into a very complex partnership in which each corporate partner has a unique giftedness that can be utilized to transform lives and nations. Within each partner organization lays the unique gifts and skills of multiple people with a heart for the same cause. The realization of the gifts and the encouragement of the collaborative partnership to use our gifts has been a magnet to draw in new partners. The beauty is - nobody owns it. Well, God owns it. But each of us realizes that the system as a whole would be much weaker and less effective if not for the contributions of each partner. In the end, the God of all resource will get credit for that which only He could have orchestrated.

Leadership is not about me. It's not about you either. Leadership is about being a part of us - whoever your us may be. So you want to be a global leader? Start by dropping your bucket into the deep wells of the lives that surround you and draw out that which may be hidden in the depths. You will be empowered by what you find. Your mission will be strengthened and the Global Kingdom will expand. Trust God and trust those He has placed around you.

Together in the Kingdom,


Please click on the links below to explore these training options:

Pastors’ Vision Trip (West Africa)
October 2009
A teaching tour/vision trip for pastors and missions leaders.
Contact Cindy Wiles or Jerimiah Smith for more information.

Healthcare Missions Conference
May 7-9, 2009
Sevierville, TN
Sponsored by Baptist Medical Dental Fellowship

Join the Restore Hope Partnership
Project Restore Hope is intended to bring hope and sustained health
to the nation of Sierra Leone through unified strategies with
Sierra Leonean and other international partners that result
in transformed lives, stable infrastructure, social
responsibility, and capacity for development.
Current partners include: Buckner International, Evangelical College of Theology,Sierra Leone, FBC Arlington, Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone, GCPN, Louise Herrington School of Nursing, UTA Dept. of African Studies, UTA College of Engineering, UTA College of Liberal Arts, UTA School of Nursing, UTA School of Social Work.
For more information contact the
GCPN office at (817) 276-6494.

Sahara Challenge Training Conference
June 6-13, 2009
Sahara Challenge takes place June 6-13 in Atlanta, GA.
Following the training, visit the Muslim world abroad
in Lebanon, Turkey, Indonesia, London or North Africa.
Or spend a week in a Muslim community stateside
in Atlanta, Minneapolis or Detroit.
Sponsored by Crescent Project

2009 Muslim Background Believers Conference
October 2-3, 2009
Sponsored by Gospel for Muslims (GFM)

GCPN Facilitator Training
May 22-23, 2009
First Baptist Church of Arlington, Texas
Led by Dr. Mike Stroope