Realign: God-Called Leaders Connecting With Their Purpose by Eugene Wilson
Bro. Eugene Wilson, tell us a little about yourself and your ministry.
I have served as youth, associate, family and senior pastor. I obtained a Master of Arts in Human Relations, and a Doctorate of Strategic Leadership from Regent University. I believe God has called me to help church leaders grow, to help church leaders develop other leaders, and to help church leaders address challenges in leading growing churches in the 21st century.
What are, in your opinion, the traits of an “equipping leader?”
Paul’s focus, in Ephesians 4:11-12, is not that of hierarchy, who is in charge, but of purpose. He states the purpose of the five-fold ministry is to equip saints for the work of ministry. Consequently, one of the most important traits of an equipping leader is humility. As bondservants, we have to understand this is His church. We need to fulfill our God-given assignment—equip others—and let God take care of the rest.
How can a pastor encourage saints to be more faithful and involved?
One of the ways to increase faithfulness is to increase involvement; and one of the ways to increase involvement is to help people discover their God-given talents, abilities and callings. I truly believe when we as church leaders align with our God-given purpose—equipping others for their work of ministry—we will generate a high level of excitement and energy. Subsequently, faithfulness and involvement will increase.
How can you help saints to find their God-given gifts and talents?
One of the ways we as church leaders can help others discover their God-given gifts and talents is by taking the lid off the box. We need to rid ourselves of our pastor-centric model, which tends to hold on to all meaningful areas of ministry, and allow others to fulfill the ministries God has called them to. Lastly, there are practical tools that can be of benefit, such as spiritual gift discoveries, personality profiles and passion assessments. I am presently co-authoring some material called “DISCover Your Voice,” which uses the DISC personality profile, as well as a spiritual gifting assessment, for this purpose.
What can a pastor do to keep his leaders and workers feeling fulfilled in their ministries?
Too many times we are trying to fit round pegs into square holes—we are trying to get people to fulfill “our” work of ministry rather than releasing them to fulfill “their” work of ministry. Shared vision is a vital component in people feeling fulfilled. It is through shared vision that we are able to obtain the buy-in so needed in generating and sustaining momentum.
What can a pastor do to develop and train leaders on a consistent basis?
Research shows people generally remember only 10 percent of what they read; 20 percent of what they hear; 30 percent of what they see; 50 percent of what they see and hear; 70 percent of what they say and write; and 90 percent of what they do. One of the most effective ways to develop and train leaders is to allow them to walk alongside you and see how you handle things. We are not called to build a church. Jesus said that He would build it. Our responsibility is to equip people.
What should be your expectations for followers in the church?
There are four types of followers: 1) resource, 2) individualist, 3) implementer, and 4) partner. Resource followers are like sheep in that they will only do what you tell them to do. Individualist followers are independent and critical thinkers, and thus often seem to be constantly working against things. Implementer followers do whatever the leader wants done. But the most effective followers are partner followers. They help leaders clarify where, what, how and why? Partner followers have a sense of what needs to be done and willing to commit to seeing it done. We do not need people to tell us what we want to hear; we need people who will speak the truth.
How can church organization structures enhance or inhibit growth?
A church’s organization structure can enhance or inhibit growth by encouraging or discouraging involvement. Organizational structures that allow for, and encourage followers to become partners enhance church growth. Organizational structures such as hierarchies do not encourage followers to become partners. In hierarchy-structured organizations followers are expected to do whatever the leader wants done. We should want people to participate in decision-making, to share opinions, to share in creating vision, and to share in ministry. Consequently, we need organizational structures that encourage partner followers.
What are the stages of the life cycle of a church and how does this influence leadership development and ministry involvement?
Research of all types of organizations has shown that organizations experience four stages of life cycle: 1) entrepreneurial, 2) collectivity, 3) formalization, and 4) elaboration. The two most common in churches across North America are the entrepreneurial and collectivity stages. The organizational structure in the entrepreneurial stage is simple and informal; whatever the leader says goes. Thus, growth is largely dependent upon the leader. The problem with this stage of life cycle is that it is not sustainable; additionally, it is not conducive for leadership development, ministerial involvement and church growth. In the collectivity stage, followers begin to carry the load. They identify with the mission and vision of the church, and will invest time and resources. The temptation is to want to make sure everything is working properly and in its rightful place. When church leaders succumb to this temptation, they will hold on to power rather than share it. And when this happens, involvement decreases and leadership development is stifled.
How to order your book Realign: God-Called Leaders Connecting with Their Purpose?
Realign can be purchased through the Pentecostal Publishing House. For those who would like to read Realign in an eBook version, you can find it on Amazon. You can also purchase a copy through my website: eugenewilson.org.