Applying Wisdom to Life

Question Series: Wise Leadership Decisions

Question 1 – Leadership Culture


What is your leadership culture that you try to build in your organization? Do you have a hierarchical approach? Do you have a team approach? Is it a mixture of both or something entirely different? Why do you choose to develop this style of leadership?


With God’s help and guidence I am lead to build a servant leadership culture that embraces team ministry. To make this happen every committee in the congregation will be refocused as a small group. The model of small groups that we will be using is Living in Faith Everyday (L.I.F.E.) This is a 3-5 year process but keeps us on track for revitalization.

True servant leadership requires the ability to initiate ministry, build a team, share the ministry and eventually release the ministry. Decentralizing the command and control functions of leadership is essential to have a servant leadership culture that embraces team ministry. The hierarchy should be  linear when we achieve our goal. The goal is one level of ministry team leaders (who will also serve on the Vision Team/Church Council) and every ministry within the church fall under one of the leaders responsibilities.

I appreciate the fractal leadership culture of Wayne Cordero at New Hope Christian Fellowship. The permission giving model of Bill Easum has also informed my model. I also read Robert Greenleaf’s book on Servant Leadership . Along with the other leadership seminars, lectures, books and experience as a coach, I have adopted this approach to developing our leadership culture. My prayer is that it is intentionally tailored for West Baltimore UMC which is going through revitalization and not a template that we are attempting to fit into.

I adopted this style of leadership based on our unique ministry position, the task that is before us, the mandate to make disciples as we re-create and re-align the leadership culture as well as the unique gifts of congregational members already at West Baltimore UMC. Spiritual and administrative leadership can be developed simultaneously through L.I.F.E. groups which will be our primary leadership development venue.

For a highlight and summery of this question offered to great Christian leaders around the world and other valuable wisdom, visit SOPHOS.