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  • David

    September 30, 2022 at 7:59 am

    The Wake-Up Call, September 30, 2022

    I am a student of leadership and I spent most of my working career developing leaders and building leadership capacity in communities and churches. I view Disciple making as leadership development. The same principles that apply to effective leadership are relevant to effective discipleship and disciple making. One of my favorite set of principles or models for leadership is the “Five Practices of Leadership” proposed by Jim Kouses and Barry Posner in their landmark book entitled The Leadership Challenge.

    In the book they propose 5 Practices of Exemplary Leadership

    (https://www.leadershipchallenge.com/research/five-practices.aspx): they contend that exemplary leaders display five core practices or behaviors: they Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart. I could spend a lot of time expanding on how each of these practices applies to Discipleship and Disciple Making, but it is the fifth practice that is very applicable to today’s Text, “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:13). JD left out that last part for some reason.

    What does it mean to “encourage the heart” and how does that relate to encouraging one another in the Kingdom of God? Kouzes and Posner explain encouraging the heart as, recognizing the contributions that other individuals make, rewarding their efforts, celebrating their accomplishments, and making people feel like heroes. The way I believe we apply this practice in the Kingdom of God is to defer judgment and condemnation; to focus on the good that’s in all people; to be dispensers of Hope, Grace and Truth; to have forbearance and patience; and to gently and lovingly steer them back to being in Christ, so that they will not fall away and become hardened by sin. That is what exemplary Disciple Makers do. Lord, let it be so with me!