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October 26, 2017 | Charis Saenz

Allen Chapin with family
Allen Chapin with family

About 30 years ago, Allen Chapin dreamed of writing books for ministry. This dream continued through his years studying at Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) and his time serving as the Louisiana District Youth Director (DYD). Last year, Chapin was in the midst of ministry transitions and made a personal resolve to publish a book by his next birthday.

I Got A ‘D’ in Leadership: Anyone Can Lead ” was published this September, and Chapin received the author copy one day before his birthday.

“It’s a new outlet for ministry,” he says. “This is really a dream in the making.”

The heart of Chapin’s book is to help leaders discover their unique gifts and operate in their best leadership style. The title comes from the five types of leaders Chapin has observed throughout his 24 years in ministry: dreamers, designers, developers, delegators, and doers.

“It’s not that we got a bad grade at leadership, but that God has given each of us a leadership giftedness that begins with the letter ‘D’,” he says.

Chapin was inspired to write I Got A “D” in Leadership when during his time as the Louisiana DYD, he sought to hire an administrative assistant and an additional part-time employee to cover the workload of the ministry. As he struggled to fill the positions, Chapin’s wife suggested that he organize volunteers to help with ministry projects. After praying about his next step, Chapin heard clear direction from the Lord. “God said, ‘don’t hire anybody until you start building teams to lead,’” he says.

As Chapin created leadership teams to function in various areas of service, he discovered that he communicated as a dreamer, with visionary language, while others had different leadership languages. He realized that although his teams did not all lead the same, they were still all leaders and he was inspired to help people embrace their different giftings.

“So many times leaders feel like failures and begin to think that they’re not cut out for leadership,” he says. “I think anyone can lead if they get who they are.”

Each chapter of I Got A “D” in Leadership lays out the delights, dilemmas, dangers, and disciplines of each “D” gifting, showing readers how to use their leadership qualities successfully. A leadership quiz is also provided as a way for readers to discover which “D” gift they possess and learn how to invite leaders with different giftings to their teams. The quiz is also available through Chapin’s website and has already been taken by 2,300 people.

“When we discover what our leadership ‘D’ is and we operate from that, then we realize which parts we are lacking in and we get others we need on the team,” he says.

During the process of writing his book, Chapin personally experienced the success of a team-structure approach; all 5 “D” qualities were represented on his publication team. “I invited people onto the team with me to help me do it because I couldn’t do it by myself,” he says.

Chapin knows that many of his readers are involved in ministry, yet he also sees his book as an everyday resource for nonbelievers and people in the marketplace. He has witnessed how organizations improve when people function within their giftings and presents the lessons he’s learned in a simple, conversational style. “In all my life in ministry, I’ve tried to keep things simple,” says Chapin.

Since publishing I Got A “D” in Leadership, Chapin’s ministry involves speaking at leadership conventions about his book as well as maintaining a leadership blog.

“I’m excited to have another way to communicate,” he says. “My life purpose is to love and encourage, offering grace and hope, and this is just one more way that I can do that.”

Chapin has several ideas for future books, including a daily devotional that is already in the works. The new devotional will emphasize the importance of having a daily time alone with the Lord, something Chapin learned upon graduating from SAGU with a B.S. in Church Ministries. “I began to treasure and realize how much I valued those times in chapel,” he says.

As Chapin reflects on his journey of faith, he says that his time at SAGU provided him with a network of relationships, a heart for servant leadership and a consistent spiritual atmosphere. He encourages current students to “make the most of every spiritual encounter. Make the most of every relationship that you can build there. Know that you’re in a great setting to discover and pursue the will of God and the direction that He has for your life.”

If you would like to purchase a copy of “I Got a ‘D’ in Leadership: Anyone Can Lead”, click here .

To see Chapin’s blog, click here .

Southwestern Assemblies of God University is a private, Christian university located 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex in Waxahachie, Texas. The university was established in 1927, and now offers more than 70 associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees on campus or online. More information is available at or by calling 1-888-YES-SAGU.

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