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Published by Richard Widener
Discipleship at the Core
Discipleship at the Core

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Published by: Richard Widener on Feb 19, 2010
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02/19/2010

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BEGINNINGWhen considering the subject of leadership, several truths come to mind. First, we cannever get far from our personality
1
. Furthermore, a leader needs to have character—notsimply be a character, though the two are not mutually exclusive. One who leads needs acertain amount of skill in working with people and communication. Also, since theleadership we are considering is primarily leadership in the context of the Christianchurch, a leader needs a growing understanding of the Scriptures. When we speak of character we speak of “the inherent complex of attributes thatdetermines a person’s moral and ethical actions and reactions.”
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Or, to put it more simply,as John Warfin says in the film
 Buckaroo Bonsai
, “Character is what you are in the dark.”When no one can see you, applaud you, correct you, or encourage you, your character determines what you do. Ask yourself, "If there were no one there to punish me or correctme, or award me, what would I do?" Developing good character is a crucial step in thedevelopment of good leaders. Thankfully, character can be built. Ability to work with people and skills in communication are also invaluable in the socialnetwork we call “church.” How we talk, the tone we use, the questions we ask, and theway we listen are all part of these skills. These skills can be learned if one is willing to put in the effort required. Understanding Scripture is a life-long pursuit. If one is to become a leader in theChristian church, this has to be a primary pursuit. Formal education is not required;however, some type of structured, intentional, and accountable learning process isnecessary. We run into many problems when we fail to learn from the great saints of old – and not so old. We believe that the Scriptures are plain and understandable in matters of salvation and yet, the personal interpretation of portions of the Scriptures have sometimesallowed too many leaders to fail personally, and worse, to lead astray many of thoseunder their leadership and teaching. Along with continual study of the Scriptures, familiarizing yourself with some of theavailable Christian theology books will be helpful.
Systematic Theology
 by WayneGrudem is a challenging tome that brings in various theological views. I enjoyedH. Orton Wiley’s
Christian Theology
while I was in seminary. There are others. 
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the complex of all the attributes--behavioral, temperamental, emotional and mental--thatcharacterize a unique individual (personality. Dictionary.com.
WordNet 
©
3.0.
PrincetonUniversity)
2
character. Dictionary.com.
WordNet® 3.0
. Princeton University.http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/character (accessed: August 19, 2007).

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