Congregational Vitality Pathway

RCA Farwest Region

9.Culture of godly leadership

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He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
— – Micah 6:8

Our leaders at all levels serve with character, competence, and conviction.  A spirit of collegiality pervades, with our people trusting our leaders and our leaders trusting our people. We continually identify and train godly leaders for all dimensions of our ministry.

RCA Resources

RCA Transformed and Transforming Initiatives 

  • Emerging Leader Processes  We will develop and implement a clear and effective leadership mobilization strategy that will engage the next generation by identifying RCA congregations that are effectively developing emerging leaders and partnering with them to create processes that can be replicated to help more churches develop and mobilize young, emerging, and current leaders. emerging@rca.org
  • Thriving Leaders, Thriving Churches  Leadership teams of RCA congregations will be supported in ongoing spiritual transformation. This, in turn, will cause the congregation to grow in all four dimensions of the love of God: depth (spiritual transformation), height (numerical growth), width (increasing missional impact), and length (long-term endurance and sustainability). thriving@rca.org

Evangelical Covenant Resources

Sermons

Ministries

Books

  • Leadership on the Line by Heifetz and Linsky Harvard Business Review Press; (April 18, 2002) To lead is to live dangerously. It's romantic and exciting to think of leadership as all inspiration, decisive action, and rich rewards, but leading requires taking risks that can jeopardize your career and your personal life. It requires putting yourself on the line, disturbing the status quo, and surfacing hidden conflict. And when people resist and push back, there's a strong temptation to play it safe. Those who choose to lead plunge in, take the risks, and sometimes get burned. But it doesn't have to be that way say renowned leadership authorities Ronald Heifetz and Marty Linsky. In Leadership on the Line, they show how it's possible to make a difference without getting "taken out" or pushed aside. They present everyday tools that give equal weight to the dangerous work of leading change and the critical importance of personal survival. Through vivid stories from all walks of life, the authors present straightforward strategies for navigating the perilous straits of leadership. Whether parent or politician, CEO or community activist, this practical book shows how you can exercise leadership and survive and thrive to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
  • On Leadership Harvard Business Review  Harvard Business Review Press; (January 3, 2011) How can you transform yourself from a good manager into an extraordinary leader? We've combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles on leadership and selected the most important ones to help you maximize your own and your organization's performance. This collection includes these best-selling HBR articles: featured article "What Makes an Effective Executive" by Peter F. Drucker, "What Makes a Leader?" "What Leaders Really Do," "The Work of Leadership," "Why Should Anyone Be Led by You?" "Crucibles of Leadership," "Level 5 Leadership: The Triumph of Humility and Fierce Resolve," "Seven Transformations of Leadership," "Discovering Your Authentic Leadership," and "In Praise of the Incomplete Leader."
  • Margin, by Richard Swenson NavPress; (October 11, 2004) Margin is the space that once existed between ourselves and our limits. Today we use margin just to get by. This book is for anyone who yearns for relief from the pressure of overload. Reevaluate your priorities, determine the value of rest and simplicity in your life, and see where your identity really comes from. The benefits can be good health, financial stability, fulfilling relationships, and availability for God’s purpose.
  • Lead Like Jesus, by Blanchard and Hodges  Thomas Nelson; (September 30, 2008) With simple yet profound principles from the life of Jesus and dozens of stories and leadership examples from his life experiences, veteran author, speaker and leadership expert Ken Blanchard guides readers through the process of discovering how to lead like Jesus. He describes it as the process of aligning two internal domains-the heart and the head-and two external domains-the hands and the habits. These four dimensions of leadership form the outline for this very practical and transformational book.
  • Good to Great, by Jim Collins HarperBusiness; (October 16, 2001) This book addresses a single question: can a good company become a great company, and if so, how? Based on a five-year research project comparing teams that made a leap to those that did not, Good to Great shows that greatness is not primarily a function of circumstance, but largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline. This book discusses concepts like Level 5 Leadership, First Who (first get the right people on the bus, then figure out where to drive it), and the Flywheel.
  • The Divine Conspiracy Continued, by Willard and Black  HarperOne (June 17, 2014) The Divine Conspiracy Continued, co-written with theologian Gary Black, Willard lays out the next stage in God's plan as this generation of disciples, including ordained and lay leaders, step into positions of authority across our culture and begin to transform the world from the inside out. To fulfill the Christian calling is not to remove oneself from the outside world and take shelter from its shortcomings, Willard reminds us, but to step into the world to lead and serve as agents of change.
  • The Land Between, by Manion Zondervan (July 31, 2010) In The Land Between, author Jeff Manion uses the biblical story of the Israelite’s journey through Sinai desert as a metaphor for being in undesired, transitional space. After enduring generations of slavery in Egypt, the descendants of Jacob travel through the desert (the land between) toward their new home in Canaan. They crave the food of their former home in Egypt and despise their present environment. They are unable to go back and incapable of moving forward. The Land Between explores the way in which their reactions can provide insight and guidance on how to respond to God during our own seasons of difficult transition. The book provides fresh biblical insight for people traveling through undesired transitions (e.g. foreclosure, unemployment, parents in declining health, post-graduate uncertainty, business failure, etc.) who are looking for hope, guidance, and encouragement. While it is possible to move through transitions and learn little, they provide our greatest opportunity for spiritual growth. God desires to meet us in our chaos and emotional upheaval, and he intends for us to encounter his goodness and provision during these upsetting seasons.
  • Holy Conversations: Strategic Planning as a Spiritual Practice for Congregations, by Gil Rendle and Alice Mann (Alban Institute, 2003 ) The authors cast planning as a “holy conversation,” a congregational discernment process about three critical questions: Who are we? What has God called us to do or be? Who is our neighbor? They then equip congregational leaders with a broad and creative range of ideas, pathways, processes, and tools for planning.
  • Eating the Elephant: Leading the Established Church to Growth, by Thom Rainer (Pinnacle Pub., 2003) The authors have written Eating the Elephant to show that a church can change and grow if you move at a pace that fits the church's situation, if you eat the elephant one bite at a time.
  • The Externally Focused Church, by Rick Rusaw and Eric Swanson (Group, 2004) Learn from churches that have made serving their communities a priority: Attract new believers and reach hurt and skeptical people through service; Help your members deepen their spiritual commitment through service; Discover practical ways to change your community.
  • Simple Church: Returning to God’s Process for Making Disciples, by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger (Broadman and Holman, 2006) Based on case studies of four hundred American churches, authors Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger prove that the process for making disciples has quite often become too complex. Simple churches are thriving, and they are doing so by taking these four ideas to heart: Clarity. Movement. Alignment. Focus. 

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