Prof. David Scharf
Leadership Matters: How to Identify and Develop Leaders to Multiply Ministry, Prof. David Scharf
Leadership matters. A sports team might be loaded with talented players. That team will badly underachieve if the coaches don’t exercise good leadership. A company might produce a great product. With poor leadership, that company can still go bankrupt. Leadership matters. This is true in our congregations too. The Lord of the Church has called on church leaders to steward all the resources he has provided: the spiritual gifts of our members, the skills of our called workers, the offerings members provide, the previous commodity of volunteer hours. This requires leadership. Leadership matters.
Leadership has been described as the ability to influence others. In the world, leadership can be exercised by coercion and compulsion. Jesus says, “Not so with you” (Matthew 20:26). In his Church, leaders influence others through humble, loving service—the same way Christ served us. Church leaders, by encouragement and example, elicit the desire of members to pursue the noble mission Christ has given to believers. That’s influence. That’s leadership. And leadership matters.
This is a big miss in many of our congregations. Surveys show about ninety percent of WELS’ lay leaders receive no training for whatever responsibility to which they were elected or appointed. Councilmen, elders, committee members, school boards – individuals are just dropped into the role, without a lot of explanation of how that role operates, without any discussion of the spiritual character God would have church leaders demonstrate. This will not do. Leadership matters.
In this breakout, participants will look at the importance, not just of identifying potential leaders, but providing the organizational and spiritual training needed to lead in Christ’s church. You will walk away with some practical ideas of how to fill congregational positions of responsibility, not just with warm bodies, but with individuals who are full of the Spirit and wisdom.
Prof. David Scharf
David Scharf served as a parish pastor at lmmanuel in Greenville, Wis., and as coordinator for the Northern Wisconsin District Evangelism Commission from 2005-2016. He now serves as a professor of Theology at Martin Luther College. He is a member of the Institute for Worship and Outreach and chairman of the Commission on Congregational Counseling. A graduate of Luther Preparatory School (1996), Martin Luther College (2000), and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (2005), Dave and his wife Beth (nee Koelpin), have six children ages 9-20.