The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:11-12, “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.” I heard Johnny Hunt make the following statement:
“For every identifiable leader in your church you will have ten people.”
There is one glaring observation that can be made from this … more people requires more leaders. In order to grow a church both spiritually and numerically there has to be a growth in leadership both spiritually and numerically. Developing fully devoted followers of Jesus, making disciples, should result in the development of leaders. The pastor will need to take the initiative and grow himself as a leader. He can then identify other potential leaders whom he can disciple and develop as leaders.
Sounds simple enough, right? While it is simple in concept it is not easy in practical application. Developing leaders can be an exhausting process filled with ups and downs, joys and sorrows, victories and setbacks. But the Scriptural mandate of Ephesians 4:11-12 is worth every ounce of energy it takes. So, what do we do? How do we find and develop leaders? How do we know when a person has developed as a leader?
WHO IS A LEADER?
A leader in the local church is a person who is:
- Growing in his personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Embracing the mission and vision of the local church.
- Developing and implementing ministry that fulfills the vision of the church.
- Identifying and developing other leaders to join him in the work of ministry.
Leadership is more than just being willing to make decisions. Leadership in ministry is having the knowledge of God’s Word, the understanding of God’s Word and the wisdom of God’s Word. Anyone can make decisions. Only a leader is capable of knowing what decision to make, when to make it and why to make it.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR DEVELOPING LEADERS?
- Identify prospective leaders based on their current character and conduct in their home, the church & the community.
- Develop a personal relationship with the person. Get to know him. Take interest in him and his life. Be a source of encouragement and accountability for his spiritual maturity. Plan a regular time in your schedule to spend time investing in this relationship.
- Cast the vision for the ministry of the church with him. Converse with him to gauge his level of understanding, commitment and involvement with the church and her ministries.
- Help him to identify the gifts and passions God has placed in his life. From this you will be able to help him better understand what priorities God may be establishing for his life.
- Empower and equip him to serve and lead. Allow him to cast the vision back to you; allowing him to take ownership for the vision and ministry as well.
- Lead him to invest in others to join him in the ministry. Let him identify potential leaders that he can personally disciple. Allow him to outline the process for how he would develop them.
- Strengthen him in his plan and encourage him. Serve as a resource and continuing encourager.