7 Questions with Julian Dunham
Name: Julian Dunham
Current title: CEO
Current organisation: Arrow Leadership International Development
Julian has been of follower of Jesus since 1985 and a pastor since 1991. He led Arrow in Australia from 2008 to 2017 and is now CEO Arrow Leadership International Development; providing leadership development opportunities in the majority world for Christian leaders age 25-40.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
Ensuring that the making of disciples is the churches highest priority.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I was an enthusiastic youth leader who drew the attention of church leadership because of my passion for the gospel. I was offered an internship and with it began theological study.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Pre Covid, I'd start at 8 by clearing my inbox and then most of my day would then be in structured meetings. I finish at 3 and do exercise. I would then do 1-2 hours in the evening of reading, study, and preparation. Due to the international nature of my work, this schedule would often be interrupted by zoom meetings at odd hours.
Since COVID, I have struggled to find a consistent rhythm.
4. What's one book apart from the Bible that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
John Maxwell, How To Develop The Leaders Around You. These days I'd recommend other books but in terms of impact at the time that book altered the way I think about what I do with my time. Empowering and encouraging others became a priority.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
I keep learning and re-learning that if leaders aren't secure in their own identity, in the team they're a part of, and in the community they serve, they will likely undermine not just their own ministry, but the team and any broader ministry of which they are a part.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
Go with those that select themselves.
Keep your eyes and ears out for people that God is speaking to.
Speak vision into people.
Prioritise time with leaders and pour yourself into them.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
I once met with a young person to invite them to join my youth leader training. Others questioned my decision as the person was in a questionable relationship and had embarrassed themselves publicly and lost the respect of their peers. Once they overcame their initial fears they responded to the challenge incredibly positively. They grew spiritually, regained their confidence, and became a trusted leader. In time they made a tough decision to leave their career and serve in ministry full-time. They've prospered and also faced significant challenges along the way but today they lead a significant national ministry.
The lesson to me is look for the potential in people and care less about their past or their reputation; good or bad.