Growing Leaders

Leading More Like Jesus

This special 25th anniversary article, written by Arrow leader Calvin Lamar Brown, addresses the leader’s stewardship responsibility of #GrowingLeaders. His insight provides a great framework for you to share with other leaders, and to reflect and discuss with your leadership team.

How did you become a leader? I’m not asking how you received your latest appointment; rather, I’m asking how you grew into a person of character and competence, capable of leading others in whatever endeavour God has called you to.


Go ahead and pause for a moment and think about how God has used others to shape and prepare you to lead more like Jesus. I suspect your story is as unique as your fingerprint or DNA. I also suspect a community exists in your story; namely, someone or some number of people who invested in you along the way – invested in your growth as a person, but more specifically as a leader.

Am I right?

The Apostle Paul reminded Timothy of his stewardship responsibility as a leader:

“And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2).

In other words, Paul was challenging Timothy to the task of growing leaders. His desire was to see Timothy do as the Master did – help grow leaders that would help grow leaders. So, I believe Paul not only laid out the task-at-hand for Timothy, but for us as well. Like Jesus, like Paul, like Timothy, and like those who invested in us, we share the responsibility of growing leaders.

Leadership Pic.

I will admit that I’m a developing practitioner just like you; I don’t have all the answers. However, I have been actively seeking to grow leaders for a number of years, especially since my Arrow journey. I offer you a quick and simple framework that you can carry with you into any people development or leadership development relationship; it is also iterative and adaptable.

First, pray for wisdom to identify and discern whom to invest in. Second, ask, “Who in my circle is committed to growing in Christ and committed to doing so in the context of relationship?” Next, spend time walking with a leader through this five-part framework:

  1. Identity in Christ (Mark 1:10-11) – Help the leader embrace his or her identify in Christ, God’s unconditional love for him/her, and that the Heavenly Father is fully pleased with him/her regardless of accomplishments or lack thereof.
  2. Letting Go (Hebrews 12:1-13) – Help the leader identify what might be holding him/her back or potentially tripping him/her up, and how to walk in freedom.
  3. Looking Forward (Isaiah 6:1-8) – Help the leader clarify God’s unique call on his/her life.
  4. Planning and Acting (Survey Nehemiah) – Help the leader determine his/her strengths and weaknesses, what resources or training might be needed, and what relationship should be fostered in fulfilling his/her calling.
  5. Finishing Well (2 Timothy 4:6-13) – Help the leader implement physical, emotional and spiritual disciplines that will enable him/her to sustain for the long run.

Even with good intentions, willing parties and a good framework, there is no guarantee of success. However, the most critical point to remember is that growing leaders is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit! Our role is to be obedient, available, and intentional.

Reflection Questions:

  1. Who invested in you, helping to shape your leadership?
  2. Who is God bringing to your attention as someone who is committed to growing in Christ in the context of relationship?
  3. How are you currently growing leaders in your organization?
  4. What’s your next step to be obedient, available, and intentional about growing leaders?

Calvin Lamar Brown - Picture


Calvin Lamar Brown, Sr. (D.Min) is a Co-Pastor of Destiny Church in Twinsburg, Ohio – an intentionally multi-ethnic congregation. He is an alumnus of the Arrow Leadership Program (Class 22), as well as a leadership partner and trainer. He is happily married to Robin (23 years) and they have two boys – Calvin, Jr. (15) and Maxwell (12).

Please Note: Growing Leaders and Leading Together are two resources from Arrow Leadership specifically geared toward growing leaders within your own sphere of influence. Visit the Arrow Online Store for more information.