John Markum

The Three Levels of Leadership

Recently at LifeCity Church, we began a series walking through 2 Timothy called The Leader in Me, where I’ve been walking through the leadership principals the Apostle Paul gives in his final farewell letter to Timothy. The point of this series has been simple: Leadership, in a word, is influence – and God has given all of us a degree of influence in this world that we should cultivate. One of the main points of his leadership dynamics is founded in 2Timothy 2:2, “The things you’ve heard and seen of me, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

Through this and other passages, I introduced our church to the three levels of leadership…

  • Leading self.
  • Leading others.
  • Leading leaders.

You must be able to lead yourself well, if you’re ever to be capable of leading others. Self-discipline, sacrifice, and the ability to follow all fall under this for me. Because you can’t lead, if you can’t follow.

The next step up is leading others, or leading a team. This is often coveted by short-sighted “leaders” who want to skip over level 1. I like to elevate people to this level who have demonstrated the ability to lead themselves, but are otherwise reluctant to be “over” someone else. Their humility and self-awareness often make them far better suited for leadership than they realize, and watching them grow in this capacity is inspiring.

The third level is leading leaders, more specifically, leading level 2 leaders. I’m reminded of the words of Jesus in Matthew 20:26, that the greatest among you must be “the servant of all”. Jesus ties greatness directly to the idea of servanthood. The greatest leader, therefore, should be striving to be the greatest servant. In God’s Kingdom where everything is backwards to our human perspective, this is the model of a growing leader.

Levels 2 and 3 are contingent on level 1. You can’t lead others somewhere you’re not going. If you’re undisciplined, unwilling to sacrifice, unwilling to follow others, then your leadership is ultimately based on yourself, not those whom you wish to lead.

I hope this is helpful as you consider your leadership growth.

Pastor John

Challenge #5: Serve

Edgewood Challenge #5: Give time to serve in one ministry.


There’s this statistic that floats around many churches that says, “20% of the people do 80% of the service.” This stat gets called the 80/20 Stat most of the time and simply points out that only a fraction of most Christians ever give of their time and talent to be part of what the church is doing to impact their city for Christ.

It’s a shame, really. We would claim to believe in a God who saves souls, changes lives, and does the impossible – who is eager to capture us up into His mission to redeem the world to Himself – and we would pass. Because of this, one church leader, Ed Stetzer, began referring to this ratio of people who don’t volunteer themselves to the work of the church as the 80/20 Sin. When you and I make excuses for why we do not get connected in serving, we are trying to say that we believe in Jesus enough to save us, but not enough to give ourselves back to Him.

But what if we really lived it…? What would be the potential of our church – of the Quad Cities – if we lived as though our life was not our own, but we were bought with a price? What if the 80/20 statistic was flopped, and 80 % of the people each took a piece of the ownership in serving? The thought of what that would look like is absolutely breath-taking!

The Bible describes the church as the “body” of Christ. But when 80% of the body is not doing it’s function, the body is paralyzed… or dying. The whole body suffers when even a small part of it is out of order. But a body that is 100% operational is alive, healthy, and powerful. Let’s be that church!

Edgewood is such an amazing place because every week we get to see new people coming through our doors, and the potential to turn our world upside-down for the Gospel has never been greater, or more needed. And because our church has 3 weekend adult services, and a youth service, there are plenty of opportunities to use your time and talents to serve in one ministry. Let’s change our world by the way we serve one another!



Edgewood 2011


This past week, in each of our weekend worship services at Edgewood, we unleashed 7 Challenges for every person that calls Edgewood their church home. I wanted to take the time to reiterate these 7 Challenges this week here on the blog, and so I will deal with each one in a separate post this week. In case you didn’t get the bookmark we handed out this week, here are the 7 Challenges.

  1. Read through the Bible in one year.
  2. Pray for the Church one hour a week.
  3. Share Christ: Lead one person to the Lord.
  4. Increase giving by 1%.
  5. Give time to serving in one ministry.
  6. Find one thing to be thankful for daily.
  7. Bring a Bible to church.

Again, these are for people who call Edgewood their church home. We are not asking, nor do we even want any of our guests to give financially to the ministry of Edgewood. But for those who call yourselves members of Edgewood, or consider Edgewood your church home, this is the year to step up to the plate in all 7 Challenges. I truly believe that as we do this together, God is going to show Himself mightily in our lives, and in the life of our church. We are the people of God! Not even the gates of Hell have power against us! Let’s turn the Quad Cities upside down with the Gospel and see God impact our world through our church like never before. Read more about Challenge #1 real soon…



The phrase no pain, no gain has been a mantra for athletes and fitness junkies for years. And what they understand about physical pain needs to be broadened to a much more general use in all of our lives. Pain hurts. That's the whole problem. No one enjoys it, and if someone does, we rightfully

The Premium of Pain