In recent years Junior has been increasingly sought for leadership development. While many of these are ministerial or church-related, he has also helped communicators, sports coaches, developing business leaders, even teachers and doctoral candidates, in some of the most nuanced and often overlooked ways. Similarly, a growing number of leaders have expressed interest in a regular commentary or mini-devotional from Junior on leadership. In response, the bit below is for you. (All content here and sitewide is the intellectual and copyright property of JDM. All rights reserved.)
When doing multiperson leadership equipping, Junior loves to use small "Mount of Olives" home meetings. These relaxed, candid environments compel leaders to ask questions, share freely, dialogue in-depth, nourish interleader intimacy, and practice their gifted craft in a nurturant, but guided, setting. Individual follow-up spins off naturally and supernaturally from these unusually productive meetings.
As a leader, you are the genes of your group or organization. Your unique helix of personality, instincts, abilities, experience, and maturity level will determine the visible nature and quality of your group. Not only does this impose a stern mandate of personal growth and leadership development, it cautions us to wisely discern the "epigenetics" of leadership also: who we agree to lead, under what conditions, and for how long.
On Hermeneutical Integrity:
One of the greatest temptations a communicator of the Word will face is the compromise of his/her hermeneutical integrity. This is especially tempting in America, where a Christian communicator can become rich and famous and adored if he/she is cunning enough. In this regard, there are two compromises to recognize and continually act against, personally and in our leadership sphere.
Many American Christian communicators speak for mass appeal, they speak to people's wishlist, not hermeneutical integrity. Biblical texts are amputated from their original context and original meaning and given a Me-centered, self-help, positive psychology, American dream, populist flavor. Since most people have an earthly wishlist of sorts, this kind of messaging with a few co-opted scriptures has phenomenal appeal to spiritually immature Christians. While it is true Scripture contains many diverse promises that are undeniably blessing oriented, the hermeneutical compromise comes when the messaging is only or mainly along these lines.
A second hermeneutical compromise is what we might call investigative misconduct, the leaving out of Biblical evidence (specific scriptures) that challenge or undermine one's theology. This cherry-picking of Scripture fails to account for and reconcile contrarian scriptures on the subject at hand. This kind of hyperselective Bible reading, the creating of non-comprehensive doctrinal silos, leads to teaching and preaching that is partially true yet filled with What about...? questions.
Christians whose minds and theologies are still-wet concrete are vulnerable to hermeneutical shadiness coming from their leaders. If you are on the receiving end of ministry, inventory those you are listening to. Are you being spoken to mainly according to your wishlist, or with a healthy and balanced multidimensionality? Do you consistently find yourself asking, "What about this verse and that verse?"
Do not be dumb sheep. Grow spiritually, learn the Word comprehensively for yourself, understand hermeneutical integrity, walk with the Lord in a right relationship with His Word.