the weblog of Alan Knox

Just give him better methods

Posted by on Dec 29, 2010 in blog links | 3 comments

Just give him better methods

James at “Idle musings of a bookseller” has written an excellent post called “How-to versus who.” Actually, most of James’ post is a quote from the book Missional Small Groups, which I also started reading a few weeks ago (on James’ prompting), but then stopped reading it to read a few other books.

I’m not going to copy the entire quote. You can jump over to James’ site to read it.

The most important part of the quote (at least to me) is this: “[W]e often look for leadership training that focuses on skills development. The questions asked in such training always focuses on the how question… Leading missional groups occurs as leaders are formed and shaped for mission.”

I would say this is true of any type of Christian leader. Pouring more and more information, trends, methods, etc. into someone does not make that person a leader. Unfortunately, this is the method used by the modern church. If someone isn’t a good leader (or isn’t a leader yet), the predominant church wisdom is to give that person more information, more education.

But, like the quote says above, leaders are not built through education, but through a life of serving. If you want to be a leader, or if someone else needs help leading, the best thing to do is to start serving others… the “lower” the service, the better.

What do you think?


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 12-29-2010

    Exactly. In our age of specialization and complexity, we confuse researching/training/talking/studying/planning with doing. Service-based leadership does not require a Ph.D.

  2. 12-29-2010

    If they were not sacrificially serving others before the “training”, they usually will not do so after the “training”, but they will think that they are the boss!

  3. 12-30-2010


    Yes, exactly. And we confuse knowledge with maturity and obedience.


    Wouldn’t you love to see a “leadership conference” where all the attendees spend the entire conference time serving others instead of listening to gurus?