Every pastor desires to raise up more leaders. Not just people who show up each week, but people who will take responsibility of an area, carry a vision, lead others, multiply themselves into others. Enter Mike Breen’s new book Multiplying Missional Leaders (kindle version).
I’ve long wanted a really great book on developing leaders within the church. I’ve read countless business books, but the leap of applicability is difficult as leaders within the church often have other jobs.
While Breen’s book is the best on the topic I’ve read, I feel like it lacked some things. Breen is an amazing thinker, but sometimes how smart he is seems to get in the way of being easily applicable to everyone.
First, the positives of the book.
Breen gives a fairly simple list of developing leaders in the church:
- Recruit the team with whom you want to start a movement.
- Train them on how to pioneer the missional frontier and disciple others to do the same.
- Deploy your team to cut its teeth in the missional frontier.
- Review with them once they’ve gone out to see what happened and what they learned and to give them practical coaching and spiritual support.
Fairly straight forward.
The one downside, if you aren’t doing missional communities, life on life discipleship, you will have some difficulty applying Breen’s book and his ideas. Now, the easy answer to that problem is simply start doing life on life discipleship, which is probably the biblical answer. I found a lot of great things in the book, but that is the one caveat I would make about it.
Here are a few other things I highlighted in the book:
- Discipleship is the process of becoming who Jesus would be if he were you. -Dallas Willard
- Missional leadership is not simply discipling individual people, but is leading larger groups that disciple and train leaders in a cohesive, organized way for God’s mission in the world.
- Defining a disciple is fairly easy. The Greek word mathetes is the word that scripture uses for “disciple” and it means learner. In other words, disciples are people who LEARN to be like Jesus and learn to do what Jesus could do.
- The fruit of our lives will reveal the root of our lives.
- God did not design us to do kingdom mission outside the scope of intentional, biblical discipleship.
- The truth about discipleship is that it’s never hip and never in style because it’s the call to come and die.
- The impulse to “go deep” that people often believe shows their character is essentially spiritual boredom that comes from a stalled discipleship life.
- The problem with Christians isn’t that they don’t understand what Jesus said. The problem with Christians is that they don’t do what Jesus said.
- We need to look at the issue of identity, because it is the main battlefield when it comes to character.
- Three areas – appetite, approval, and ambition – are temptations which the devil always returns, whether in an individual’s life, the life of a local church, or even the life of a culture.
- A missional leader needs character, capacity, chemistry and calling.
One of the things I appreciated about Breen’s book was his emphasis on character. Too many leadership books simply pay lip service to this characteristic. If a person doesn’t have character, they will not make a strong leader in your church, at least not a leader worth following.
Overall, I’d recommend reading the book. As I said, to my knowledge, it is the best book I’ve read on developing leaders within the church.