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In the early 1980’s, Dr. Lloyd John Ogilvie, former US Senate Chaplain, was Sr. Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. He held a leadership retreat at his church and asked 5 basic questions. On a few occasions, I had the privilege of discussing the power of these questions with him. In fact, this is how we first met on a flight. I heard his God-like voice and I knew who he was.
Here are his penetrating questions: 1) What kind of people does it take to change the world? 2) What kind of church does it take to produce those kinds of people? 3) What kind of leaders does it take to produce that kind of church? 4) What kind of staff does it take to produce those kinds of leaders? 5) What kind of pastor does it take to produce those kinds of other pastors?
Every possible emphasis or experience you want to filter down into the congregation must start at the very top level of leadership. This principle was further confirmed, when we entered into a large fund-raising drive in the Churches I pastored. If the pastoral staff and congregational leadership were not deeply committed, the fund-raising event inevitably failed. When the leadership stepped up to the line and led out with their commitments first, the fund-raising event inevitably succeeded.
So, why is it that the process of discipleship is so desperately missing in the Churches today? It follows the same principle. I am convinced that it’s because the leadership at the highest levels are NOT into the discipleship process themselves. You see, you can’t give something away, unless you own it yourself. Discipleship must start at the top with the leaders. This is why Jesus was so tough on the leaders of his day . Everything good and bad will follow the leader.