As I talk to pastors I am constantly reminded that one of the greatest needs in the church is more and better leadership. More Pastors tell me they need more leaders more than they need money, buildings, and programs. They know leadership is important but rarely do they know how to get more leaders. If the truth be told, most Pastors hope some really good leaders will come from the church down the street.
Interestingly enough, Jesus needed leaders as well. When Jesus started the greatest movement in history he did not have a single leader and when he left earth he handed his movement off to a handful of qualified and competent leaders. Jesus built a team of leaders by developing them. Jesus took untrained seekers and turned them into fully trained disciples who were ready and able to lead. If we are going to have a church full of leaders today, we must do it the same way Jesus did it.
The first step in leadership development for Christ was selection. Jesus didn’t just choose anybody. He chose potential leaders that had a hunger and desire for more. Jesus did not select men that had lots of education or experience. He selected men that had the raw ingredients that could be shaped and molded into disciple making leaders. Jesus selected men based on potential, not on pedigree.
The second step in leadership development for Christ was preparation. Jesus took his potential leaders into a process of preparation we call discipleship. Jesus actually made disciples and then appointed them to be leaders. Jesus did not tell us to “make leaders of all nations”. He told us to make disciples so that we would always have plenty of leaders waiting to be appointed. It took Jesus three years to develop a group of disciples into ready leaders that could lead his movement.
The third step in leadership development for Christ was mobilization. Once Jesus had prepared his disciples he simply needed to mobilize them into places of leadership. Jesus commissioned his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. He mobilized them to go lead the process of making disciples in the church as it spread to Jerusalem, Judea & Samaria, and the Ends of the Earth. The disciple became the leaders of the church in the Book of Acts who led the movement to continue growing and spreading around the world.
We need churches today that are making disciples and appointing disciple making leaders. We need to increase leaders if we want the movement to increase. The movement will never grow faster than it’s leaders are being developed!
Most churches I know have little or no plan for leadership development. This is tragic because everything really does rise and fall on leadership. If the church is not developing leaders then the church is preparing for decline.
At Impact Discipleship Ministries, we are committed to inspiring people and churches to be and build disciples. One of the ways we accomplish this mission is by helping pastors learn how to make disciples and appoint leaders. If we can help you in that process, please contact us for training, resources, and coaching. You can connect with us here on the website, or check out our upcoming pastor training opportunities at impactdisciples.com/events.