I recently had an interaction that caused me to think about the important matter of church DNA. DNA is the basic character of the congregation including what she values and how she goes about accomplishing her goals.

For several years I have believed that the leadership of a church is largely responsible for how members see themselves as well as the mission and methods of that church. For example, if the leaders do all the work themselves, the members come to see themselves as spectators or passengers rather than contributors.

One view of leadership, that I disavow, is that leaders sit at the front or top of an organization and dictate. In this view, the leader is the one invested with knowledge and wisdom and operates like a dispenser. Those who follow his/her leadership are trained to be dependent and weak. They often become discouraged and eventually quit.

Another view of leadership sees leaders as equippers and encouragers. They operate at the rear of the organization giving the people in their charge the opportunity and power to work. In organizations like this, people feel invested and responsible. This helps them to develop strength and energy.

The second kind of leadership takes time to mature. Failures will occur. By its nature this style of leadership is slower, but it develops a more mature membership.

John Maxwell says, “If you think you’re a leader and no one is following, then you’re only taking a walk.” Equipping leadership is true leadership that develops strong loyalties and follow-ship.

That’s the kind of leadership LifeSpring values.