What Does Kingdom-First Leadership Look Like?

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Harry Truman is credited with the powerful leadership axiom, “It’s amazing what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit.”

Today I saw this lived out again with Todd Petkau and the team at Riverwood Church Community in Winnipeg.

Riverwood has been our Global Leadership Summit partner for two years, and each year their facility sells out weeks in advance. Winnipeg as a host city has been a sell-out seven years in a row. Even though Riverwood has managed to squeeze in close to 500 guests for this event, they know that in a larger venue the attendance could be far more.

I met with Todd and his team, to both debrief the 2010 Summit and to look forward to the 2011 event.

For lunch he suggested we include Victor Neufeld, senior pastor of the nearby North Kildonan Mennonite Brethren Church. And it was here over lunch that these two leaders brought me in on a plan that has “Kingdom win” written all over it.

“What would you think,” Todd began, “if the Summit in Winnipeg were to be driven by one church, but held in a different church?”

“What do you have in mind?”

“Well,” Todd continued, “our church appreciates being able to drive the Summit in Winnipeg. But we know our facility isn’t large enough to handle the growth potential we see. So we wondered if we could work with our friends up at North Kildonan Church…”

Victor broke into the conversation. “Our facility is perfect, I think. We seat about 800, we have a lot more space, and we’d love to make this available for the Summit. We’ll serve anyway you’d like us to, but we’d like our friends at Riverwood to take the lead on the event.”

Todd chimed in again. “So, could this work?”

All I could think was, “With leaders like this, with such genuine humble hearts, how could it not work?” Clearly, these two leaders, and their churches, simply want to throw a serving towel over their arms and see to it that as many leaders as possible in southern Manitoba have a great Summit experience.

I’m writing these thoughts as I fly from Winnipeg on to Halifax to meet with more leaders. And as I travel I’m reflecting on my own leadership, reminding myself to keep relentlessly focused on Kingdom-outcomes, not on whether or not my name happens to be attached to any particular accomplishments.

Because after all; it’s amazing what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit.

How do you maintain your “Kingdom focus” in your leadership?

the author

Scott Cochrane


  1. What a huge win! This story gets me excited to become reacquainted with the Riverwood team and to join forces with North Kildonan MB. Go Winnipeg go!

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