Invading Secular Space Ch. 7 - Discussion Questions

Chapter 7: “Alone At the Top”

Standard Questions

  • What did you like?  (What gripped/excited you?)
  • What did you dislike?  (What do you disagree with?  Why?)
  • What can you use?  (How can you apply this to your situation?)

Special Questions

“So what are these principles telling us about the core structures of leadership?  First, leadership of some kind is widely distributed amongst the body of Christ.  Second, the task of leaders in the church is to model and create a culture in which everyone naturally expects to find their gift and use it.  Third, we change the shape of the church to respond to the gifts we find rather than try to force people into the structures we have regardless of gifting.  Fourth, we recognize that mobilization takes place most effectively when people are using the gifts that God has given them.” (135)

  • With regard to the first principle, how do gifts relate to leadership?  What do you think of the assertion (p. 133): “Leadership must reflect the gifts given to the whole body?”  In what sense does a spiritual gift enable someone to lead spiritually?  What gifts are present in your home group leadership team?  How do the leaders use their gifts in the home group context?  How do they work together to enhance your leadership’s effectiveness?
  • With regard to the second principle, see also “. . . one of the key roles of leaders is the identification of the internal yearnings that lie within the lives of the people in their church and subsequent equipping and releasing of this call.” (138,139)  How much do you prioritize this in your discipleship ministry?  What would it look like to do this?
  • With regard to the third principle, can you cite an example in your home group where you have adapted its structures to take advantage of the gifts in your home group?
  • With regard to the fourth principle, see also p. 115: “Members become mobilized when their internal motivations are recognized and used.  This is a key element in personal transformation.  Personal motivation is intimately connected to the gifts that people have within them.”  How does gift identification and use affect one’s ministry confidence and motivation?  See 2 Tim. 1:6,7.
  • React to this assertion (not in the book): Every spiritual gift provides the gift-bearer with unique evangelistic opportunities.  What evidence do you see for/against this assertion?  What implications might it have for mobilizing your home group for more effective outreach?
  • What are some dangers associated with emphasizing the discovery and exercise of spiritual gifts?  What are the dangers of ignoring/neglecting this issue?

See the discussion of the essence of leadership in 139-143.

  • What two forces combine to move us toward a “top-down/over-under” leadership model?  How have you experienced these two forces?
  • What important qualifications do the authors make (top 141)?  Why are these qualifications so important?
  • How does your home group practice the “concentric circles” model of leadership (141)?  What structures facilitate this model (e.g., LEAD TEAM DINNERS; WORKERS MEETINGS)?

“. . . the challenge of unity is diversity. So much of the contention within the body of Christ can be better understood as points of view seeded by the Trinity into the church, through our diversity of giftedness, for its protection, run amok!  A simple spectrum reveals this predicament.  If you write the gift of mercy and one end . . . (and) then at the other end of the spectrum you note the gift of leading . . . you have a picture of the problem.  A strongly pastoral gift will view the world through the matrix of people, whereas some leaders who are driven to achieve a vision have a tendency to view the world through the matrix of tasks.  If neither has learned to appreciate the diversity of gifts that the Spirit has given, and the point of view that each brings to the table, there will be conflict . . . How we learn to deal with the importance of other gifts, in direct and necessary diversity to our own, will determine the degree of healthy relationships among people in leadership bodies, and ultimately the effectiveness of leadership.” (143,144)

Can you cite examples in your own home group of conflicts arising because of this issue?  How can these conflicts be addressed so that the home group stays focused on its mission (home group planting) and also harnesses diversity of gifting to help accomplish this mission?