My first mission (should I choose to accept it... which I did) as an apprentice at Woody Road is to read the book 'Growing Leaders', by James Lawrence. I'm very bad at remembering what I've read in a book so I thought I'd post some reflections and maybe quotes on here as I go along.
The book is conveniently (how thoughtful!) split into 6 parts, so after each part I'll write a little summary/few thoughts/whatever-I-can-muster-up-the-enthusiasm-for.
The book is written from a concern about leadership in the church, and so aims to help leaders within the church (and by leaders he means any form of leadership position, not just paid staff) to keep growing as leaders, to grow more leaders, 'to be led more by Jesus, to lead more like Jesus and to lead more to Jesus'.
Ambitious goal, but much needed I expect. Here are a few interesting statistics about the pressures faced by church leaders that he quotes on why this book is necessary (bear in mind this was published in 2004, so this may be slightly out of date):
- 3 in 10 have felt for a prolonged period like leaving Christian service
- 3 in 10 feel that their family suffers because of their work
- 4 in 10 feel pressured by inadequate income
- Only 2 in 10 have received training in management or team building
- 7 in 10 feel heavily overworked
- 200 church leaders miss Sunday Activities each week as a result of stress-related illnesses
- 1,500 church leaders quit over a 10 year period.
Let's hope this book has some answers!