Summary: Facilitating Leaders
Facilitating Leaders I Cor. 3:5-9
Illustration:Labor mightily for a healing spirit. Away with all discriminating names whatever that may hinder the applying of balm to heal your wounds...Discord and division become no Christian. For wolves to worry the lambs is no wonder, but for one lamb to worry another, this is unnatural and monstrous.
Thomas Brooks, quoted in Credenda Agenda, Vol. 5
The facilitating leader functions best with a group of cooperative people who are willing to carry out their full responsibilities for the good of the organization. The facilitative leader furnishes the oversight of the fellowship by helping to coordinate the resources and the efforts of the people. Mobilizing the people for action, the facilitator acts as a catalyst for continual improvement. Since the facilitator knows how to resort to the other styles of leadership, he knows how to take different paths to balance out his peoples’ needs at each varying situation. When there is a network of integrative ministries happening in his organization, the facilitative leader is at his best. With a whole host of trained, motivated, and equipped people, the catalytic leader is able to maximize individual and corporate contributions to the achievement of great goals. The facilitator knows how to multiply his resources and personnel’ contributions through coordinative strategies.
Adaptability remains one of the facilitator’s greatest strengths since he knows how to become all things to all men for most situations.
This is one of the reasons that the apostle Paul is perhaps the most excellent example of a catalytic leader whoever lived. The facilitator exhibits the patience necessary for people and programs to come to fruition. He is skilled at enlisting a wide array of talent in his organization by encouraging and challenging his people to give their best. Occasionally, people can feel like they are standing in a wind storm when the facilitative leader comes into the room. He is eager to push people to reach their potentials. Blessed with a healthy self-image, the facilitator exudes confidence which draws many people to him.
Facilitator have a way of encouraging people through their example to learn how to love oneself as God love us. They emit a radiance of confident assurance of their God given abilities. No wonder a statement like, "I can do everything God asks me to do with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power," (Phil. 4:13) came from the chief catalyst - apostle Paul. Constantly, the facilitator has to be careful that people are not following him, but His Lord. Many great facilitative leaders have subtly allowed their organizations to slip into an organization that revolves around their dynamic personality rather than the Lord or His purposes. The Corinthians experienced this problem when some said, "I am of Apollos and others said I am of Paul. The apostle Paul wrote back to them with a scathing rebuke saying,
"What, after all is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe - as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his labors. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building." (I Cor. 3:5-9)
Facilitator seek to develop fulfilling relationships by bringing people together for loftier goals than any individual can accomplish on their own. Paul emphasizes this catalytic function in Ephesians 4:11-13:
"It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ."
Here is a classic catalytic leader’s statement of the importance of preparing God’s people to maximize their contributions. The facilitative leader is constantly looking for ways to build people up in faith, knowledge, values, and skills to improve their ministries and promote unity. It takes great courage and perseverance to be a facilitative leader, but Paul gained that through His new life in Christ. As a result, Paul could be described as assertive in his leadership. Even when he found himself chained to a Roman guard in a prison, he wrote these words to the Phillipian:
"And this is my prayer; that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - to the glory and praise of God."