Not too long ago I was asked to recommend a book to help churches design a leadership pipeline. A “leadership pipeline” is a leadership development process that helps local churches establish, grow and reproduce leaders. At that point in time, when I searched my mental files, I came up short. Today, I can answer that question with a resounding “yes”.

“The Leadership Difference”, by Robert Logan, offers principles for the leader who’s vision is to develop other leaders. Reflection questions with related resources enable reproducing leaders to create their unique development process.

When discussing leadership development with other leaders, I’ve discovered the lines between discipleship and leadership are often blurry. In fact, some would argue, discipleship = leadership development. There is some truth to that statement. Logan makes the case and captures the essence of that dynamic; the relationship is one of interdependence:

Discipleship is the often less visible but absolutely essential foundation upon which leadership must rest. Without it, everything else collapses (p.19)

But there are also differences. The author makes a clear distinction between Discipleship Competencies and Leadership Competencies:

Discipleship Competencies:

  • Experiencing God
  • Spiritual Responsiveness
  • Sacrificial Service
  • Generous Living
  • Disciplemaking
  • Personal Transformation
  • Authentic Relationships
  • Community Transformation (p.21)

Leadership Competencies:

  • Personal Development
  • Developing Leaders
  • Leading Teams
  • Organizational Development
  • Communication Skills
  • Pastoral Skills (p.26-27)

This alone is worth the price of the book. A more complete list is presented in Appendix A and B. Clarifying the two creates a clear distinction. This allows a leader to design her/his own leadership pipeline, with the end in mind.

Logan is one of the leading thinkers in church planting and leader development today. His extensive experience as a coach, consultant and trainer in 30+ countries, spans four decades and gives him a broad base from which to draw. Logan is constantly asking God: “What’s next for the church to grow and reproduce healthy disciples and leaders?”

I highly recommend “The Leadership Difference” when you are being asked to build a leadership pipeline in the church or ministry you serve.

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