The Leadership Summit, 2011 will go down in my history as one of the best two days of my leadership growth. John Dickson’s talk on humility provided insight into several areas that challenge me.

It’s no secret that many churches in North America (and elsewhere) are declining, aging, financially strapped, and emotionally depleting. John Dickson’s comment is profound: “The humble place may be the place where you learn the most.” Has God captured our attention?

Deficit Leadership

Dickson’s comment about competency is profound, as it reflects to expertise in effective 21st Century disciple-making. He said, “Expertise in one area counts for very little in another.” (Yeah, I also liked the story about the crashing airplane with a pilot, professor, clergyman, and a backpacker – and only 3 parachutes.)

Many church leaders want to be missionally effective, but are jumping out of the plane with the backpack, like the professor. Christian leaders seem to be well-trained in theology, but hopelessly ill-prepared in missional strategies to reach 21st Century post-moderns.

I suggest this is an epoch of humility for Christian leaders. Yet, as Dickson described, this is when we can learn the most. I am so hopeful because I believe we are in the beginning of an era of humility. It’s a tough lesson for those who are in the autumn or winter of their careers. Yet the openness for missional learning seems to be in the DNA of young adults. It is also found in a growing number of those of us who have experienced a Romans 12 transformation – a renewal of our minds…for mission.

What would happen if we intentionally invested more leadership development among the young adults who “get it?” It would require that we equip them differently: hands-on learning, in community, relationally, authentically, using the medium of story.

In my perception, there is hope on the horizon. What do you think?