In 2008 John completed a Doctor of Ministry degree with the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Leadership entitled, Leadership Development and Relational Patterns: The Early Church and the Church in Zambia Today. If you wish to download a pdf version of it, click on the image below.
Christian Leaders Training Institute is a non-residential leadership training program operated in Zambia through a network of Local Training Centers (LTCs) attached to districts and stronger local churches. Several of these LTCs have failed to perform as expected. This project designed a workshop which the pastors and church leaders forming several new LTCs were taken through in an attempt to help them deal with important issues that would affect the success of their centers. Zambians, like most Africans, see formal education as the only “real” training method. In an attempt to help the boards of these new LTCs understand the limitations of formal education and include other approaches in their training programs, a second goal of the project involved encouraging the same boards to consider using mentoring and peer relationships to deal with spiritual formation and ministerial skills. Africans highly value relationships, so a study of how different patterns of relationships have contributed to the development of church leaders today and in the past became the focus of much of the research conducted for this project.
Five patterns of relationships were defined at the beginning of the study. The biblical-theological review in chapters 2 and 3 examines the patterns of relationships used by the Early Church to train its leaders. The research concluded that while Familial and Teacher-Student Pattern relationships played important foundational roles, Master-Disciple and/or Tutor/Mentor Pattern relationships provided the basic means by which Early Church leaders were trained. Those already in leadership received further training using Peer/Team Pattern relationships. Chapter 4 looks at how the kin groups of Zambia trained their leaders before colonization and concludes that Familial Pattern relationships played the dominant role in leadership development, with Peer/Team providing an important secondary role among many groups. Chapter 5 addresses how formal education with its Teacher-Student Pattern relationships became the dominant way church leaders have been trained since the Reformation and how missionaries brought this pattern to Zambia. The chapter concludes by examining how informal and nonformal relationships can play a valuable role in developing church leaders today.
Twenty-eight participants attended the workshops. Evaluations show that the first goal was met, and all participants felt better prepared to run their LTCs. In addition, about half of the evaluations directly mentioned issues related to non-formal and informal means of achieving leadership development goals, such as mentoring, spiritual formation, or similar topics, as having been helpful or having affected their understanding of church leadership training.