In the last blog, I talked about the difference between leadership theory (an intellectual exercise) and leadership actuality (an application exercise). We have an abundance of theory, which has accomplished little, and we need much more actuality. I closed with a hint of what was coming in this entry - DmL
I'm sure you figured out from the title what DmL means - disciple-making leadership. This leadership lens is one that I am devoting a significant amount of study and effort to understand and use in my life. Lest you think this is some human construct, let's turn to God's Word. This will begin the process of formulating DmL for you (and me!).
In Luke 1:1-4, we find the opening of this historical narrative by a physician and friend of Paul; but, focus in on the last line of this section: "that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught." This book was compiled for a man named Theophilus and its purpose was to grant certainty. But, certainty in what? Luke says "the things you have been taught." In other words, Theophilus was a disciple, had heard quite a bit about Jesus, and Luke continued to teach him the truth. So, we have a disciple that is being led through the process of discipleship.
Still not convinced?
Turn to Acts 1:1 and see how Luke opened a second book written to this same Theophilus. The physician author says that his initial book "dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach." Stop right there. Luke's gospel focused on the life and teaching of Jesus.
The Greek term for teaching is a neat one as it speaks of instruction or causing to learn. I love this phrase that you can find in Thayer's Greek Lexicon: teaching means to "deliver didactic discourses." The implication is that this living and teaching is not a one-time thing but an intentional, ongoing relationship to produce learning.
A 2014 Forbes.com article refers to Jesus as the greatest leader of all time. Should we not seek to learn more about His leadership theory and leadership actuality? Would we do well to emulate His intentional, ongoing relationship to produce learning? I think so, and that is where DmL emerges.
What were the followers of Jesus called? Disciples. Jesus devoted his public ministry to teaching those disciples so that they would, in turn, teach others. I cannot put it any other way than this - the heart of Jesus' living and teaching ministry was none other than disciple-making leadership. He came to set things right and show us His plan for spreading the gospel.
Let me ask - are you involved in DmL?
You're probably wondering how I define DmL. Well, hold on because that discussion is for another blog. Stay tuned!