Answering the call to transformational leadershipFriday, January 08, 2021
As transformational leaders we are often called to a much higher purpose when God sees us in roles in which we may not be utilising our talents to the best of our abilities. In these instances, answering the calling for your life may involve a radical adjustment, but one which we must prepare ourselves to undertake for the long term.
In a sit-down interview as I pursued a doctor of transformational leadership degree, Rev Dwight Fletcher recounted the story of his transition to becoming the head of one of the fastest-growing churches in Jamaica. In the summer of 1996, while reading his Bible, he was drawn to and impressed by a verse from Joshua 1:6, “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.” (New International Version)
Over time, as he read and meditated on the significance of this verse, he realised that the Lord was directing him to a leadership role within the church community. He left his job as a successful sales and marketing manager to serve on staff at Swallowfield Chapel for approximately 12 years in various leadership capacities. During this period it became progressively clear that his call to ministry would involve starting and leading a church. As the years progressed this was confirmed in several ways — directly to Dwight and his wife, Joan; and prophetically through other Christians, including local and overseas ministers.
Consequently, in submission to the call, and with the release and blessings of the elders of Swallowfield Chapel, in the summer of 2011, Transformed Life Church (TLC) was born. Dwight and Joan Fletcher were then ordained in Kingston, Jamaica, by Pastor R Paul Earle of Life Network of Churches based in California, USA. Rev Fletcher considers transformational leadership to be visionary in nature. Indeed, this forms the entire basis for the establishment of TLC — to cater to the needs of wayward Christians who were not being adequately served by traditional means.
Rev Fletcher employs a scientific approach to problem-solving and notes that, due to his initially agnostic leanings, he wanted to experience God in a different way, and he wanted the same for others. As a result, he devotes his entire life now to influencing people, both directly and indirectly, to achieve a greater purpose where the benefits don't only accrue to them.
Pastor Fletcher wants the church, as a community, to experience growth beyond the confines of a physical building and deliver content to those who need it, away from the core leadership of the church itself. He understands the changing world in a Digital Age and wants to utilise various technological media to spread his message, especially to the younger demographic.
His vision speaks to innovation in various sectors of national life, such as establishing a hospital that caters not only to physical but also spiritual and emotional healing, as well as renewal of Jamaican society in keeping with strong Christian and biblical traditions.
Naturally, his main motivation comes from his relationship with the Lord and he speaks highly of the development of leaders not only within his organisation, but externally. This forms another aspect of his vision — to accelerate the training of religious leaders organically via the congregants of his church.
Pastor Fletcher values integrity highly and notes that his organisation has a fiduciary duty to carry out its functions on behalf of the church members, operating within a framework of established policies and procedures.
Fletcher epitomises the concept of a transformational leader as his approach completely eschews traditional methods. He wants people to experience God in a practical way and is often guided by biblical teachings. He uses the chapters of Joshua 1 and Zechariah 3 as his most prominent examples.
His leadership style is concerned with adding significant value to people's lives, as he noted in an example of a young man who was sent to a summer camp hosted by his church, who returned totally transformed at the end of it. In another instance, he noted an occasion in which his church ministered to individuals in Cuba who have grown more during their short interactions with his church than in the previous 20 years of their relationship with the Lord.
Indeed, Pastor Fletcher's personal calling by the Lord has made his job much easier. He describes it as helping people step into their destiny by seeing their goal in mind and working towards it. He can easily be seen as an agent of change and his work involves a full integration into society through the Government, private sector, and civil society. He emphasises teaching, training, and visioning as the primary processes of his organisation and wants the church to be seen as part of the solution to people's problems instead of being an isolated entity.
Jacqueline Coke Lloyd is founder and managing director of Make Your Mark Consultants. She is a transformational leader, coach, organisation and people development specialist, and national productivity ambassador. Send comments to the Jamaica Observer or email@example.com.
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