I recently returned from Rome and our fourth gathering of all of our missional leaders in Italy. Greg Lillestrand, our National Director for Agape Italia, shared some great insights concerning the character of a leader.
Greg noted that there is always one question that he asks when looking at potential leaders for the mission: Is this person able to engage the cooperation of others?
He saw this as a mark of character and he challenged those in the room–Are we able to engage the cooperation of others as a ministry here in Italy? Am I able to engage the cooperation of others that report to me or that don’t report to me? The admonition is that we have to grow in this capacity. We are seeing our need in this ministry to fully partner with the body of Christ in Italy if we ever expect to see genuine fruitfulness. That requires engaging the cooperation of others to get the job done.
During our time together that day we looked both at leaders in Scripture and leaders from history that we admired and that possessed this trait. It was a rich time thinking through how these leaders were able to engage others.
At the end of our time Greg suggested three principles that are at the heart of engaging the cooperation of others in the mission:
1. Focus on heart connection
2. Focus on building trust in relationships
3. Focus on serving