You’ve heard it before: you can’t just accumulate followers, you must also develop leaders. How true that is. If we only accumulate followers, we will wear ourselves out. Followers have needs and demand attention. The more followers we have, the more energy we must put out. In order to build our ministry and multiply our efforts, we must develop leaders. It sounds strategic, businesslike, and difficult – but it need not be!
The reason why we want to develop leaders is to gather a team to help us in the work of ministry. When Jesus fed the 5,000, he had them sit down in groups of hundreds and fifties. He then had his disciples help him pass out the fish and the loaves. There were doubtless leaders in each of these groups of people, who stepped forward and assisted in the serving of the meal.
You had Jesus, his disciples, volunteer leaders in the groups of fifties and hundreds, and then the people themselves (followers). If every pastor of a 200church developed a dozen leaders who would oversee portions of the ministry, so much more pastoral care, ministry training, and outreach could be accomplished. If you are going to develop a team of leaders, you want to make sure you start with people who have potential.
How can you determine who has potential? Here are four qualities to look for when searching for leaders to develop:
Spiritual Interest – A man or woman could have outstanding credentials and abilities, but unless he or she also has an interest in their own walk with God, they will not pass the sniff test of leadership in the church. Too many church leaders are organizationally equipped on the outside, but unspiritual on the inside. Look for a spiritual person who loves the Lord and desires personal spiritual growth.
Personal passion – This is not the same as an outgoing personality. Any personality: a phlegmatic, melancholy, choleric, or sanguine can be passionate. They will reveal their passion in different ways. Passion is about drive and determination to reach a goal or desired outcome. It is about someone believing in something so much that it pushes them to do whatever it takes to get it done. Passion picks up when energy runs out.
Natural or spiritual gifting – There must be some natural or spiritual gifting present for ministry to be effective. Ideally a person would have gifting aligned with their desired ministry involvement. An instrumentalist on a worship team would be helped by some natural musical gifting. A worship leader would be more effective if they truly worshiped, and were about to relate well to a crowd of worshippers. Don’t confuse willingness with gifting. What a person wants to do is not always what they are gifted to do.
Mission alignment – Look for leaders who want to take a ministry in the same direction that the church leaders want to take it. Their philosophy should align with the mission of the church. If the church’s mission is to reach lost people, a youth worker who only wants to work with churched youth will not be a fit. Their interests, passion, and gifting should align with the vision and mission of the church.
What leaders are you developing right now? Could you immediately write down three names if you had to? Do those people have the previous four qualities? If you are not developing any leaders right now, could you write down three names of prospective leaders? We would challenge you to develop leaders who could team up with you to work on the ministry of your church with you!
Part of pastoring a 200church is to raise up leaders who can join you in the work of ministry. If we equip people to lead, we can accomplish so much more with them, than if we tried to do it all alone.
Develop leaders to multiply both yourself and your ministry! How are you developing leaders in your 200church?
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