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In die Skriflig

On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441


ELKINGTON, Rob; MEEKINS, Darryl; BREEN, Jennifer M.  and  MARTIN, Suzanne S.. Leadership as an enabling function: Towards a new paradigm for local church leadership in the 21st century. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2015, vol.49, n.3, pp.1-14. ISSN 2305-0853.

Ministry leadership presents unanticipated challenges to those seeking to serve the church. Whilst formal theological programmes provide essential education in Christianity and ministry, they do not equip new ministry leaders to navigate the complex adaptive system that is 'The church'. Upon completion of a formal educational programme, new church leaders are expected to be a leader without having the benefit of ongoing support for their leadership development process. To address this gap, and with the use of Osmer's heuristic, this article presents a framework of leadership development that draws primary from the business literature and can be adapted to ministry. Given the rough terrain inherent in the 21st century church, the authors of this article hope that this work provides a framework that will increase leadership effectiveness, prolong leadership tenure, and empower church leaders to foster the Christian worldview both within and outside their flock. Firstly, this article introduces a new framework for leadership development in the 21st century church. Next, we articulate the model and directly apply it to church leadership. We discuss not only issues that currently exist in the church, but also propose interventions that could improve the functionality and effectiveness of the church. We conclude with a list of theory-based activities that, if undertaken, will equip church leaders to utilise the framework proposed in this article.

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