You are currently viewing 5C’s in Developing Leaders

5C’s in Developing Leaders


A few years back we realised that we didn’t really know how to develop leaders from scratch, and neither did many other people in our European Context! We had learn’t how to engage in Pioneer Mission and start new spiritual communities in cafes, homes, workspaces…but we didn’t know how to see sustainable multiplication of these communities over the long haul as we were not able to develop leaders rapidly enough to sustain the new growth

We were coaching approximately 15-20 teams across UK and Europe and all the teams were hitting the same roadblock! So we took steps back from the front edge of Luke 10 start-up practices to focus on tackling this area of developing leaders…

Here’s some things we’ve discovered in the process…


One of the things I’ve noticed from constant travel and meeting lots of people is that most of us don’t really have an honest assessment of ourselves. We tend to shy away from honest self-evaluation and receiving critical feedback from others. Leadership is often defined as the more we know who we are the more we are able to serve others well. These two scriptures often stand out to me in this regard;

[…] Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us’ (Romans 12:3)

‘Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took of his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him’ (John 13:3-5)


The 5C’s is a leadership development tool that helps us as leaders to have an honest assessment of ourselves and a process for developing leadership in others.  As we’ve gone through trial and error and made 101 mistakes in developing leaders…these 5 C’s have stuck with us…


A call is defined as a strong inner impulse towards a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence. Having a clear sense of purpose or a cause worth living for. Vocation comes from the same root and means ‘a call or summons’, from the Latin for ‘call;’ defined as an occupation to which a person is specifically drawn or for which he/she is suited, trained or qualified.

Calling in leadership development is foundational to the ancient scriptures. Abraham had a strong sense of call, as did Moses, King David and Solomon, John the Baptist, Jesus, the Apostles Peter, John and Paul

Helping everyone to know and understand their call is of utmost importance in any movement. Emerging leaders may need help discovering their call whilst mature leaders may need to reassess their call and legacy

What’s your deepest calling in life?

One way of assessing your call is knowing which Sphere you are Called into


A person may have influence, but what kind of influence? Disciples of Jesus are called to become more like him. When we say someone has ‘strength of character’ we are referring to their ability in dealing with difficult situations. Not only knowing right from wrong but embodying values

The word character comes from the Ancient Greek word charakter’ and refers to a mark impressed on a coin. What kind of mark are you making on others?

‘Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing’ – Abraham Lincoln

Here are two ways we can grow;

We can grow daily as disciples in this pattern

And we can intentionally add to our faith these characteristics

Character is best developed in community where those older than us (our elders) and our peers model positive values. According to Jim Rohn, ‘We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with’, these people affect our way of thinking, our self-esteem and our decisions. Who you surround yourself with matters as scripture says; ‘don’t be misled, ‘bad company corrupts good character’  

Would those you are surrounded by say that you are growing in character?

Who are you role models?


What abilities do you have? What are you good at? What are your strengths? What are your talents? It’s important that we know what our weaknesses are, what we are not good at, in order to focus more on our strengths and enlist the help of others who are strong in areas that we are weak.

Moses was instructed by Jethro to choose ‘competent men’

‘You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others’ -2 Tim 2:2

When looking to invest ourselves into developing leaders we are to look for trustworthy people who are teachable and able to teach others

How teachable are you?


How much can you take, before you break? Capacity relates to pressure, how much you can cope with. Capacity refers to the maximum amount that something can contain, produce or hold- the ability or power to do or understand something. We’ve found that people tend to lead at differing capacities…and in differing measures. For example there are leaders of 10’s (5-15 people), leaders of 50’s (25-70), leaders of 100’s and leaders of 1000’s as Jethro points out to Moses in Exodus 18:21.

What’s your capacity?

What’s your pressure point?


‘Courage is the willingness to act in spite of fear’ – Michael Hyatt

When God appointed Joshua to lead, he repeatedly commanded him to be ‘Very Strong and Courageous’ so that he would be able to fulfil his calling. This is no less true today. Some leaders have actually lost their influence due to fear, insecurity and unbelief. God encourages us to Fear Not, 365 times in the Bible– that’s one verse for every day of the year! God does not intend for us to spend our days in worry, fear and anxiety…so leaders must lead by example in this area…

King Saul was more concerned about what others thought of him, and was prone to make decisions from a desire to please others as opposed to doing what was right by God. In short, he was insecure

In his debate with Saul about whether it was possible to defeat the Giant Goliath, King David was able to point to past episodes where he had stepped out courageously in response to his measure of faith killing a bear and a lion when they came to attack the sheep he was looking after and so he reasoned that with God’s backing he would now be able to defeat this Giant with just a slingshot and some stones…

‘It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are’ – E.E Cummings

[these 5 Principles in Leadership Development are adapted from our forthcoming book on Developing Leaders]

If you enjoyed this article on Developing Leaders…you may be interested in this one on Building Teams

Share Button

Peter J. Farmer

Peter J. Farmer is a church planter working with teams and networks to catalyze new forms of church that murmurate into movements...

Leave a Reply