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Understanding How God Shapes Spiritual Leaders

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Understanding How God Shapes Spiritual Leaders

A Work of Heart: Understanding How God Shapes Spiritual Leaders
By Reggie McNeal

Spiritual leadership is a work of heart. This truth escapes many spiritual leaders. Caught up in helping other people maintain their hearts, they frequently ignore or neglect their own. They suffer for this oversight.

Heart-shaping involves both divine and human activity. God does not unilaterally mold and sculpt passive human beings who exercise no role in scripting their life development. Humans can and do make choices as part of the expressions of the image of God given to them. God will not override the power to choose, which he grants to humans. On the other hand, God is no passive observer. The Christian doctrine of providence maintains that God lovingly superintends every part of our lives.

My experience as a minister, a leadership consultant, and a minister to ministers has led me to conclude that many Christian leaders do not understand their own developing life story. They do not have a clear picture of the heart-shaping subplots that in the long run create their life and leadership legacy. They sometimes see individual or significant events as important, but they often fail to connect the dots of their life experience. As a result, they miss the learnings that such understanding yields.

You may discover that God’s greatest adventure for you involves far more than making you a great leader. He wants to make you a great person. You are, after all, a work of heart.

Introduction, Reggie McNeal

Part One: How God Shaped Moses, David, Paul, and Jesus for Leadership

  • Moses: A Heart on a Mission
  • David: A Heart after God
  • Paul: A Heart Captured by God
  • Jesus: The Heartbeat of God

Part Two: Recognizing God’s Shaping Work in Our Own Lives
  • Culture: Meeting the World
  • Call: Figuring Out Why We Are Here
  • Community: Connecting with Others’ Hearts
  • Communion: Rehearsing for Eternity
  • Conflict: Learning to Die So We Can Live
  • Commonplace: Discovering that the Ordinary is Extra-Ordinary
The Course: Developing the Focused Life (Touchstone Course)

This is one of the required textbooks for the course “Developing the Focused Life,” a required course offered fully online by Rockbridge Seminary in the Master of Divinity (MDiv), Master of Ministry Leadership (MML), and Diploma in Ministry Studies (DMS) programs.

Course Schedule
  • 2013 Term 1 (Jan 1-Feb 25) - MDiv, MML, DMS
  • 2013 Term 2 (Feb 26-Apr 22) – MDiv, MML, DMS
  • 2013 Term 3 (Apr 30-Jun 24) – MDiv, MML, DMS
  • 2013 Term 4 (Jun 25-Aug 19) – MDiv, MML, DMS
  • 2013 Term 5 (Aug 27-Oct 21) – MDiv, MML, DMS
  • 2013 Term 6 (Oct 22-Dec 16) – MDiv, MML, DMS
Courses are taught fully online in 8-week terms. Each course allows students to build learning from the context of their own ministry roles while enjoying the stimulation of a global learning community. Learners are guided by academically qualified professors with current and relevant ministry experience.