Thursday, July 10, 2008


I had a wonderful lunch with a very, very young and sharp Brazilian pastor today. The conversation was challenging and insightful.
I learned a lot from this younger pastor. It is good to keep growing!

We ended up discussing two very different models of leadership that are prevalent in Brazil at this time. The fastest growing and largest evangelical churches in Brazil are the single, dynamic leader style churches. They are impossible to ignore as they grow larger and larger and attract more and more of Brazil's young leaders into their sphere of influence.

What we concluded as our conversation neared its end was truly a useful question for evaluating where these aggressive and huge ministries are taking Brazil and its sharp young leaders. Here is the question....

"Does the local church exist to express the deep spirituality of its key leader or does it exist to express the deep spirituality of all of its members?"

In the anointed key leader model the entire organization expresses the "anointing" of its leader. These leaders have names like "apostle" or "bishop" and the entire church is a reflection of their unique spiritual style. No one resists their style.

In the New Testament the church is to be the expression of Jesus' presence in all the members. Sounds like a vineyard to me! That is a significantly different reality and a significantly different kind of environment in which to be the senior leader.

This choice of leadership styles is being forced on all young Brazilian leaders. They must chose but the choice has not been clear for me as I mentor them. For me this lunch conversation brought clarity to me and hopefully for them.

I told my young pastor friend "I don't want to express someone else's spiritual experience. I want to express our experience of Jesus--The Vine."

His question was "Can this kind community expressed spiritual life be large and active?" I told him that I believe it can. Can it be done quickly and with little regard for the members individual spiritual state? It cannot.

The community spiritual life expressed together approach requires a real commitment on the part of a leader to the group spiritual state. The "anointed" model requires little regard for individual spiritual life and is heavy on control. It also leads to isolation and loneliness.

it feels good to learn and grow. Never stop learning and growing.


Unknown said...

Seems like churches in Brazil and those here in the USA have this in common.

Jen said...

I just wanted to say it was great to see you and Pam at Oasis. Wish I could've spent some time talking with you.

I really enjoyed the messages. Still need to get the book!

bud mccord said...

Dear Kevin,
The longer I live in Brazil, the more I see the similarities and not the differences. It seems the excesses leaders move toward are universal and pervasive.
Bud (Dad)

Dear Jen,
It was great see you , too! I hope the book will bless you.