City Motivators for City Takers: ELEVEN
Here is the eleventh of a series that I hope will be an encouragement to those who have a 'city focus'..
City Motivators for City Takers: ELEVEN
Leadership to Reach a City
By Rod Denton.*
Not much happens without leaders who are prepared to pay a price and rally the body of Christ to see a new and restored paradigm of God’s purposes in a community.
As I have observed the ways that God’s people are coming together in united prayer movements across my state of South Australia, I am becoming aware of certain characteristics that define leaders that are having an unusual influence in such a time as this.
There are certain characteristics that define city-reachers. The following are some that come to my attention with some consistency.
A Kingdom mindset
They are able to move beyond the distinctives of their own denomination and lead from a kingdom perspective that allows Christians from a wide range of expressions to feel included and at home.
They recognise that we will worship and pray as one in heaven, and they can build a wonderful bridge that brings people together and gives them a foretaste here and now of what that will be like.
A love for the whole Body of Christ
Kingdom leaders develop an appreciation for every church in their community and can sensitively participate in services in all churches in a way that blesses each congregation.
Kingdom leaders are the ones who are sought out by pastors from a wide range of churches for support and encouragement because of their recognised heart for the whole body.
A servant heart
Kingdom leaders find their identity in living as servants to the other leaders.
They are just as comfortable sitting back and allowing others to lead as they are when they are up front and giving leadership.
They don’t need to be “seen by others” and they do as much of their effective work behind the scenes as they do in front of large gatherings.
A compassion for the city
Kingdom leaders live close to Jesus and feel for their cities and communities just as Jesus does – they have a deep compassion for the people in their community because they see them as “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).
They are driven by the fact that the church in the city is responsible to the Lord for their generation, and believe that city transformation in their time can be a reality.
A call from God
Kingdom leaders do not get involved in the demands of city transformation because it is a good idea, or because their own church is seen as significant. They do so because they are responding to the call of God on their lives.
That is why some of the most effective leaders of citywide movements are the least expected people.
Most kingdom leaders I know were already busy people before they had a vision of the one church in the city coming together to be a powerful, prayerful influence. Often it takes a step of faith to take on this responsibility.
Availability is crucial. I have observed many fall by the wayside after starting a citywide movement, particularly when the discouragements and attacks from the enemy arise.
A willingness to pay the price
Availability and a willingness to pay the price go hand in hand, not only for the Kingdom leader but also for his/her partner and family.
When we put our hand up to enter into the battle at a new level, Satan is threatened and will react.
Kingdom leaders need to enlist intercessors who will build a strong prayer shield around them.
An ability to endure
I have found that most Christian leaders succeed in their calling not because they are more gifted or educated, but usually because they are prepared to endure a little longer and wait patiently for the breakthroughs to come.
A priority of prayer
Most kingdom leaders I know have a degree of activism that has been brought under the discipline of the Holy Spirit, so that they can make prayer a priority in their lives.
They have come to understand that the victories they achieve are first won in the prayer room. They have a heart for intercessors, and their churches will be safe places for intercessors to fulfil their calling.
A supportive church
Kingdom leaders will come from churches who recognise the high calling of their city-wide ministry. The leaders of their church will willingly release them to give of their time to the city-wide church, and support them as they do.
In this process, God blesses their churches as they give away their best resources for the sake of a transformed community.
God is still looking for men and women “who will build up the wall and stand before Him in the gap on behalf of the land”. (Ezekiel 22:30)
We must pray for them.
*I have always appreciated Rod Denton’s insightful teachings. Rod has served as a pastor and as a teacher in the development of emerging leaders in Australia and 9 different countries across Asia with Asian Access. He now serves as a consultant for-
Rod Denton: Equipping The Next Generation > http://roddentoneng.com.au
Rod and I were part of the One Heart Australia (now Movement Australia) team when he was senior pastor of Clovercrest Baptist Church, Adelaide. 1993 to 2008.