Preparing Missional Leaders: How Education Makes A Difference

Last updated on May 9, 2020

Missional is a buzzword for the Christian community today as a growing number of churches and leaders are focusing on being missional. Seminaries are fast adopting a missional approach to theological education as well. Moving in the right direction requires churches to be led by the right leaders, who are capable of showing the way. These are the people who have a passion for God’s mission and are willing to go the extra mile to share the gospel and lead followers on the right path. While there are some inborn qualities that these leaders should have, preparing them to adopt the right skills is equally important. This is best done with a good education that makes them ready to spread the message around. But before knowing how education can make a difference, it is important to understand the qualities one must have to be a born leader.

Characteristics of missional leaders

For influential leaders, people matter more than programs. Missional leaders invest in the lives of people with the sole aim of transforming them. They dare to go where God leads them and be the force that changes the world. Some essential traits that are a part of their personality are:

  • These individuals are willing to live on the edge and stepping out of their bound does not scare them. They are spirit-led people who go with the flow rather than just follow a beaten track.
  • Real leaders see the church differently and understand that it is a place where people called by God come together to celebrate, share and participate in extending their common faith.
  • Rather than being promotional, these are the people who believe in setting examples with their missional mindset and lifestyle.
  • They visualize themselves as ordinary people with the aim to serve God and create beautiful things even in the midst of miseries.
  • Anyone who listens to God and obeys His calling can become a true leader. All they need is an inner drive to do something impactful and meaningful and they can definitely lead the way.

Skills that make great missional leaders

Apart from the skills, one is born with, the right kind of education is needed to build leaders who create the paths that lead to God. Only when they can see the path clearly will they be able to guide others, which make theological education significant for making such great leaders. You can check https://www.sum.edu/ to understand how theological education can empower leaders. Apart from academic training, cultivating the right skills is essential to take them ahead.  As a part of the theological curriculum, missional leaders are made to develop some key skills that give them the potential to become a positive force for change:

  • An ability to make the right decisions even in complex and ambiguous situations differentiates the true leaders. It is more about being intuitive rather than being rational because one needs to have courage and wisdom to do what is right.
  • A great leader is the one who has the courage to step out of their comfort zone and venture into uncharted territories for initiating new ministries and reaching out to unreached people.
  • They are capable of cooperating and leading despite oppositions and different opinions. Qualities like flexibility, humility and emotional stability are a plus and they can all be cultivated with the right kind of training.
  • Good leaders also have the ability to get things done, regardless of the obstacles and resource limitations they face. They have the perseverance to stay strong in the face of obstacles.
  • These individuals have the capacity to grow psychologically and spiritually along their journey serving God and propagating the faith. No opposition or setback can deter their growth and they keep moving ahead even in the darkest hours of despair and suffering.

 Preparing the leaders of the future

The world is full of mess and chaos today and there is a threat to the very foundation of faith. Only great leadership can steer people in the right direction and this is possible only through real, powerful missional leaders who can show the way. Such leaders can be produced only by combining the right kind of education with inborn qualities. Too much academic knowledge cannot work alone and skill development is equally important. This is possible only through educational institutions that create empowering curriculums which deliver a perfect blend of academics, mentorship and hands-on training for the students. Truly, this is a responsibility that they need to shoulder to make the world a better place today and tomorrow.

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