Revival is a sovereign move of God. However, good leadership is imperative to continual church growth. This word imperative is defined as obligatory, mandatory, and very necessary. In church life today there is no issue more critical than leadership training. Leadership Development International, a ministry of the Foreign Missions Division, is reaching out to meet this need through the development of leadership material and training seminars.

As we race toward the twenty-first century, there is a crying demand for effective leaders who can point the way, progressive leaders standing on the sure foundation of truth. Leadership that builds on principles rather than on hype, personality, or current fads is an endangered species in our world. That is that leadership development will make a difference by teaching apostolic leadership principles to leaders worldwide.

Ronald Osborn once said, “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.” It is time for leaders worldwide to enlarge their leadership skills, to grow in proportion to the great harvest that the Lord is giving His church. The Word of God speaks plainly to the church: “And it shall come to pass afterwards, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh” Joel 2:28). If indeed we believe His Word, preparation must be made for a great, capacious harvest of souls in these last days. The question is often asked, “What is the process of preparation in becoming a more effective leader?” Perhaps the following suggestions would provide a few answers to that common question.

Point 1

A somewhat humorous quote will help me explain my first point: “If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you’ve always got!” To improve leadership skills one must be willing to change. I am not suggesting change just for change’s sake alone, but improvement for the better, a learning process that is vital to our leadership existence. It is easy to get in a “leadership rut,” taking us “nowhere fast”! Perhaps it is time for some changes in our leadership style. Are you willing to shift, modify, or alter those things that have held you back? Change is important in leadership growth.

Point 2

It has been said, “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance. It is the illusion of knowledge.” I suggest that sharpening our people skills is another asset to good leadership. I have become alarmed after observing leaders who stymie church progress, raise havoc, and destroy the tender spiritual life of persons all because of what I have perceived as a lack of people skills. We live in perilous times. Are we prepared for the problems, challenges, and possibilities of the future? People who come into our churches have astronomical difficulties. Are we as leaders praying for wisdom? Have we sharpened our skills in dealing with complex needs? We need the wisdom, strength, and knowledge of the Lord for these last days.

Point 3

As leaders we must be committed to the purpose. One of our leaders, T. F. Tenney, is famed for the statement of his book title, The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. What a powerful truth! Leading in the end times will not be easy. Why? The devil will do everything within his means to blur the focus of a leader. In other words, Satan wants to plunder, pilfer, embezzle, and burglarize our focus! Satan is a diversion specialist. He will use anything to frustrate our purpose. Among those tactics are lust, greed, power, misunderstanding, position/title, and church problems.

In the seventh month of the Jews’ return to Jerusalem, they built the altar and kept the Feast of Tabernacles in joyous thanksgiving to God. In the second month of the following year, after the foundation of the Temple was laid, the work was stopped. Why? Because the opposition frustrated their purpose. The opposition succeeded in stopping the building of the Temple for fifteen long years. The Temple was completed in 520-516 B.C.-within about four years after the work resumed. The Book of Ezra, chapter 4 verse 5, tells us, “And hired counselors [pretending to advise them] against them to frustrate their purpose.” When the focused purpose was diverted, the building of the Temple was hindered for fifteen long years! Will we as leaders allow the devil to frustrate and sidetrack our purpose? Nothing must stop us from an end-time, apostolic revival in this hour. Guard the purpose!

Point 4

Another concern of leading is incarnational leadership. Fred Smith states, “Leadership is both something you are and something you do!” ‘Fleshing out’ for others to see and touch, the principles and convictions that are important to you as a leader. This process is birthed inwardly, but must be modeled outwardly.” To become more effective in leading, this idea suggests that a leader must live the biblical core values. Leadership does not exempt leaders from “walking the talk.” Core values plus application equal leadership success. It is true that apostolic core values are opposite from the world’s set of values. What are our core values? Do our leadership foundations consist of sound biblical principles?

Point 5

Great leaders are great mentors! Mentoring is a vital quality in every good leader. Mentoring is simply turning around and pouring your life, your knowledge, and your expertise into someone else. It has been said that successful people never reach their goals alone! A mentor has the following characteristics: (a) has a generous spirit; (b) allots time to know people; (c) is able to get excited when good things happen to others; (d) will take the initiative to help others; (e) will raise up church leaders (Barnabas raised up Paul until Paul passed him in leadership); (f) seeks to develop leaders better than himself; (g) is willing to take risks.

Every leader should have three people within his sphere of influence:

1. An elder or apostle Paul–to give an apostolic word to him;

2. An encourager or Barnabas–a fellow peer to share with, to encourage each other;

3. A young Timothy–to mentor, to pour his leadership life into.

We have personally been involved with training seminars in many countries the last year, namely the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Hong Kong, China. Other regions of the Foreign Missions Division have also developed leadership training in their particular areas. Together we can make a difference!

Our mission statement at Leadership Development International is: “Our purpose shall be to educate and deploy procedures for effective training of leaders worldwide, the enhancement and growth of the kingdom of God, and the evangelism of the nations of the world.”

Our vision is simply: “The rescripting of leadership methods, the empowerment of teams, the facilitating of ideas for apostolic revival.”

I believe that the Lord has given the United Pentecostal Church International some of the greatest leaders in the world. Our prayer is that together we can learn to become more effective for the kingdom of God. And that is what Leadership Development International is all about!