The Art of Spiritual Leadership is Caught and Taught

10 Oct 2018

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Recently I came across this quote in a blog by Stephen W. Smith that resonated deeply as I reflected on what our role is in raising and releasing spiritual leaders.

“An unholy convergence of factors creates this Perfect Storm; the storm that threatens the landscape of leadership and the personal internal world of leaders today. Here are the four main forces that concern me the most in today’s realm of leadership:

  1. A success intoxicated leadership culture
  2. The cult of emphasizing leadership gifts and skills rather than integrity and character
  3. Unchecked power in positions of leadership
  4. The unchecked speed and busyness in the life of a leader”[1]

The raising and releasing of spiritual leaders begins by creating environments where the values of Christ are lived out and articulated. Contagious leaders have a fire in their belly to be part of a larger Kingdom story and an inner passion to be surrendered to Christ in every circumstance. They are prepared to pour out their lives for the sake of others in their community. Those under their leadership are convinced it is not all about them. They guard their hearts by actively wrestling with entitlement and know what it is to sacrifice their comfort for the sake of others they shepherd. They have capacity to continue to ask the question ‘what if?’ or ‘what does a faith-adventure look like in this season?’

Our movement over the last decade has intentionally created a diverse range of spiritual leadership experiences called NAVIGATE, where potential leaders from all age groups are invited to encounter the relentless love of Christ through formational and biblical stories.

“Something as simple as sharing and listening to our own life stories has such significance to my journey of healing and transformation in God. I realise I was closer to my true self when I was young and had wandered off into the world trying to search for meaning and identity, but I find all that through Jesus within and the Holy Spirit guides me. Now I’m gaining confidence in being and living out my true-identity who I was created to be.” – DISCOVER Student

Over the year they will observe the Kingdom of God at work in diverse groups of people. And in contexts of mission and ministry, they are invited to surrender to a larger story that leads them to a transforming posture for the rest of their lives.

“Navigate has been the most transformational experience of my life so far. It has been a year of challenging and confronting experiences, but from that has come remarkable growth that I believe will last a lifetime.” – ADVENTURE student

We offer an optional second or third year of intentional experiential learning called IMPACT. This is an opportunity to be connected to a pioneering community and yield to the authority of spiritual leaders as they become more imbedded in rhythms of soul care and discover what the redemptive purpose and calling of their life is.

“There has been freedom in letting go of the belief that my life is up to me! He wants in, and He wants to be in ALL of it. Through opportunities to take steps of courage, I know I will look back on this year as one where God was incredibly faithful. He has brought me this far and will continue to carry me for the rest of my days!” – IMPACT Student

RECHARGE is an opportunity for those over the age of 50 (or nearing) who are keen to embrace a safe learning environment to restore their souls, recalibrate their lives around God’s word and listen for what the Spirit is inviting them to partner in Kingdom mission.

“I have gone on a journey of transformation through sharing vulnerably with God and others, studying and working with a mentor. God has been working on my mind, heart and soul in the process and I now have inner peace and contentment. There are tears, laughter, struggles and sometimes you want to quit. However, doing Recharge was one of the most important decisions I have made.  It has been life changing for me.” – RECHARGE Student

The Fresh Hope Spiritual Leadership NAVIGATE programs are designed to partner with local churches to raise and release leaders in the destiny God has for them. These are the core foundations;

Gospel of the Kingdom
Trinitarian theology and community
Family systems
Worldview of daughters and sons
Self-awareness and differentiation
Spiritual formation and character growth
Healthy sexuality
Discipleship and whole of life mission
Healing and spiritual warfare

We intentionally go beyond the classrooms and build safe, temporary community that seeks to create moments of exposure to and immersion in environments where Kingdom values are shared and lived out.

The invitation is – if there is someone in your congregation that has a desire to deepen their relationship with God and feels a call to explore a call to live a Kingdom life that is immersed in mission, this is an option to explore. Applications for 2019 are now open.

The Spiritual Leadership section of the Mission and Ministry website is now live. Check it out here.