Over a hundred leaders from across the state gathered last week with noted pastor, best-selling author, Denver Seminary Chancellor and Leadership Journal
editor, Gordon MacDonald. Speaking at the 9th annual Leading Men Summit hosted by BoldPath Life Strategies and Bethel University
, MacDonald explored how to foster the creation of deep people within our communities.
"The first priority of the Christian leader is to assure the continuous training of of people," asserts MacDonald. He describes this process as cultivating deep people. Inspired by the observation of by Richard Foster that "the desparate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people," MacDonald and his wife, Gail, set out to intentionally cultivate deep people within their church. Their experience in personally cultivating Christian leaders inspired his latest book, Going Deep: Becoming a Person of Influence, published just last month by Thomas Nelson.
In his highly interactive presentation MacDonald posited this question: "What if a church decided that its pastor's chief responsibilty was to lead the effort to produce a continuous flow of deep people. Deep people, according to MacDonald, possess the following qualities: loyalty to Jesus, bibically grounded, growing as a "whole-person," healthy personal relationships, wisdom, spiritual gift awareness, inspiring, generous, compassionate, and are self-regulated.
To effectively cultivate these kinds of people, MacDonald suggests the direct involvement of the senior pastor in CDP (Cultivating Deep People) groups. He offered several CDP principles to consider. Chief among them, the effort needs top leadership support. "Don't do this without consulting your elder board," MacDonald advised. It must be given personal high-priority, occupyng as much as 20% of a pastor's time commitment. The group must meet off-site (home based), be team taught, possess "high-bar' covenants among members as a high-priority, have clearly defined starting and ending points, practice engaged dialogue, and vitally important, the participants must be selected, not volunteer, to be a part of the CDP group. MacDonald advises selecting between 12-17 people that exhibit teachability, social interaction skill, leadership skill, faithfulness, spiritual curiosity, be participative and are not "problem-driven." people.
Bethel University will soon post audio from the Summit and the post-Summit session Gordon MacDonald led on his prior work, Who Stole My Church?,
where he shared his insights and observations about the future of the church. For now, you can download the PDF of the Summit presentation here