There is a great demand for leadership in every generation. God makes great investments to raise up leaders to fulfill kingdom assignments and destiny to perpetuate His purposes in the earth. Perhaps every generation believes they are living in a time where social ills and conflicts are at their worst. Some have lived in more peaceful times than others. Today, we are faced with a pandemic of issues that are crying out for solutions and for those who will stand in the gap, rebuilding the walls of our families and nations. Perhaps the problems appear more prevalent because the global landscape has gotten smaller through technology. The issues challenging humanity continue: abortion, divorce, poverty, crime, sex trafficking, drug addiction, alcoholism, gender issues, racism, discrimination, homelessness, lawlessness, wars, debt, gambling, sickness and disease. These societal problems often have systems and structures set up by leaders. The results are costly. Substance abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs alone in the United States costs our nation $740 billion annually in crime, lost work, productivity and health care (1). These costs are monetarily mind-boggling, not to mention the infinite cost of precious lives lost. The quality of leadership a generation develops will determine to what measure culture is impacted and we need leaders who will impact systems and structures to bring about transformation.
The good news is that the Lord is creating a generation of champions that will dispossess the land of our enemies and destroy the tyranny of injustice. The call for authentic apostolic authority and leadership resounds in heaven. Men and women are answering the call and are engaging heaven to rule and reign from the 8th Mountain to impact the seven mountains of Culture. We need to move beyond the short term of five and ten year plans to generational plans. We need a generation of “generational” leaders to be the solution who are thinking in terms of centuries-long impact. Those leaders are champions who transcend the earthly challenges and are building a culture that perpetuates health, wealth, wholeness, and the sanctity of life to leave a lasting legacy.
This will not happen by accident, but by being intentional. Leadership is not just a set of applied principles but the embodiment of Christ’s deposit in men and women. That deposit is unique and multifaceted, including their personality, talents, desires, dreams, skills, relationships, ethnicity, heritage, life history and more, which God uses and develops through process. There is not a leader in history that did not go through a formation process. Formation is the prerequisite for the divine execution of His plans and assignments, whether large or small. It is the place where God builds His construct for government and authority. Joseph went from the pit to the Potipher’s house, to prison, and then to the palace. Short cuts in formation may lead to failure or at least a very bumpy set of beginnings with hard lessons, or an inability to sustain promotion. Even with the proper formation, men and women in their humanity may fall prey to their flaws. However, with the fullness of formation, we are more likely to succeed and enter into “the flow” of convergence. Convergence is the sweet spot where heaven and earth and all that is in us comes together to make a positive impact. In addition, when a community of leaders collaborates together, it creates a force multiplier and corporate anointing flows like a river to empower deeper and farther-reaching change. We must align our intentions with God’s intentions as a community of leaders. Leaders are fulfilling every order associated with the formative process to enter into our “flow” and impact communities and nations.
The process is often the most neglected or misunderstood dimension of leadership development. If overlooked, it can stymie growth and advancement. The Israelites turned a 40 day journey into a 40 year trial because they were unable to understand the process and requirements for advancement into their destiny. Saul and Samson had gifts and flowed in the anointing, but did not have the internal formation of character that allowed them to govern in their assignment successfully over the long term. Connecting the dots regarding the “seasons” of development and persevering in preparation is perhaps the hardest challenge to emerging leaders. We live in a “microwave” culture and economy that demand instantaneous gratification and promotion. We need the wisdom to disciple those in the formation process. Submitting yourself to apostolic fathers and mothers who see beyond your talent, skills, gifts, and anointing and into your character is likely to be your most treasured relationship, even though at times you may feel they are obstacles of your advancement.
Along that journey, there will be conflicts and trial that come from within and from the outside. Regardless, applying yourself to your development is a strategic facilitator of spiritual advancement and acceleration – even though it feels contradictory at times. In all this, God timing is His timing. We often create our delays through self-imposed wildernesses by following our ambitions and agendas. Alternatively, the enemy may exercise his plan to thwart your identity, gifting, and destiny, because he is afraid of the love, life and authority that will flow from you to impact the world. Connecting the dots, receiving wisdom, and having a teachable spirit and listening ears are key to breaking the negative cycles.
In my recently published book, Leaders for Life: Creating Leaders through the NOW Leadership Process, we call the times of difficulty as the Capacity phase where we go through the crucible of refinement. We will briefly discuss the first five of the 12C’s of Leaders for Life, which are key to every leader’s development and success.
The five definitions of these terms are as follows:
CALLING (Potential) is about understanding your potential and beginning your journey with the end in mind. You have a unique DNA that God put in you as a result of creating you in His likeness and image, which dovetails with dreams God has put in you.
CONNECTION (Bonding) is about your relationships with God, yourself and others. The most critical connection is developing your bond with your heavenly Father and understanding your identity and the deep love He has for you.
COMPETENCY (Excellence) is about developing your talents (raw natural ability) and skills needed for you to fulfill your destiny or assignment. On a deeper spiritual level, there are spiritual resources available, including the spirit of wisdom, understanding and knowledge that enhance your natural abilities.
CAPACITY (Character) is the crucible in which deeper transformation takes place where we are refined, aligned and strengthened. This often shows up in our lives through adversity, trials, tribulations, difficulties, extreme complexities, challenges, conflict, betrayal, tests, and significant obstacles and hindrances to overcome. Developing personal character and emotional, spiritual and relational maturity are a big part of capacity.
CONVERGENCE is about engaging your sweet spot where you enter into your flow (Heaven comes to earth, including the corporate anointing), and where everything seems to come together with purpose. It is where all your understanding of your purpose and assignment (Calling), preparation and character (Capacity), developing skills (Competency), growing in your identity and relationship (Connection) come together in God’s timing.
We see the perquisites of leadership through a formation for men and women who are called to the fivefold ministry in Eph 4:1-6, NKJ [Brackets added by the author].
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,[Connection] beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called [Calling], with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, [Capacity] bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. [Connection] There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.[Convergence]
Paul had great Connection as a surrendered bond servant, and challenged us to walk worthy of our Calling. He kept his commission and assignment in mind over his lifetime. The place of Capacity is where he learned the humility, gentleness, and longsuffering that paved the way for collaboration in keeping the bond of peace. I believe the next list of “oneness” factors point to Convergence where God blesses us with the powerful flow that comes from walking in unity (Ps. 133). It is the place His corporate anointing flows down the whole body. In the latter part of Ephesians 4 text, we see where Competency emerges, resulting in the Excellency of Christ through the fivefold expression of the ascension gifts – apostle, prophet, teacher, pastor and evangelist. Each gift has a unique function and role. We are all one in Him since they are given from the One.
These “C” factors define your potential and future – Calling, the depth and roots of your relationship capacity – Connection, the level of excellence you attain – Competency, and whether you fail or succeed in the crucibles of preparation – Capacity. The goal is to live in the place of Convergence – the sweet spot where heaven comes to earth.
The level to which we persevere and apply ourselves to the formation process is the level to which we are able live in Convergence of the corporate anointing. Without formation, we cannot enter into the flow and corporate anointing that will impact future generations. Allow God to continue to develop you in process with perseverance to receive the promises.
1. National Institute on Drug Abuse
Will Meier, Copywrite 2019