Being an effective inner city church


I went to the CPAS Growing Leaders course training day on Saturday. The day was very good and, without having run the course yet, I would recommend it to anyone looking for resources to help develop leaders within the local church to have a growing Christ-likeness of character, motivation and priorities for life. The leadership development model is a very helpful summary of the CPAS philosophy.

As a result of attending the course, I’ve been encouraged to start think strategically about growing leaders in an inner city context. I’ve got four books lined up to read:

  1. The habits of highly effective churches by George Barna (I read this when I first arrived in Blakenhall and want to re-read it)
  2. Advanced Strategic Planning by Aubrey Malphurs (I started reading this when I arrived in Blakenhall but didn’t finish it)
  3. Building Leaders by Aubrey Malphurs and Will Mancini (I bought this when I arrived in Blakenhall and I have never opened it)
  4. Mentoring Leaders by Carson Pue (which was recommended at the weekend as the ideal companion to Building Leaders)

What makes the CPAS material promising in my mind is that it starts with the premise that leaders exist in every context. There are many young men and women I know in Blakenhall who are natural leaders and who would transform the church and the area if given the motivation, will and opportunity to follow Christ in a culturally appropriate way. The question is: as the church (nationally and locally) has given young male leaders very little to get excited about in the past (cold pews, Victorian hymns, ancient liturgies, men in dresses etc), how do we get over deeply ingrained conceptions of what church is and instead reveal, teach and model Christ in this context so that these young leaders want to follow him and lead others to follow him?

At one level it is as simple as being focused on Christ myself and boldly, lovingly leading individuals one at a time to know, trust, love and obey him so that they lead others to do the same. At another level there’s all sorts of things to think through about how best to do that and how the body will function so that people follow Christ together in the inner city.

I’ll start with George Barna later this week and see what ideas emerge.

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