Equipping and nurturing other leaders within the church is arguably the most effective strategy to grow a congregation. When you introduce another individual to your church’s leadership team, you exponentially enhance its potential for multiplication. If you currently serve as the sole leader in your church and you welcome just one more person onto your leadership team, you have essentially doubled your church’s capacity for growth, resulting in a remarkable 200% increase.
This principle of leadership multiplication is not only a practical approach but also aligns with the biblical concept of raising up and empowering others to serve in the ministry. It resonates with the teachings of Jesus, who chose and trained His disciples to continue His work and spread the Gospel. Consider the leadership style of Jesus as your blueprint for raising up leaders in your church.
In essence, investing in the development of leaders within your church can lead to significant spiritual and numerical growth. It not only lightens your load but also empowers others to share in the responsibilities of leading and building the congregation.
One of the mistakes many pastors make is looking at people and determining them unable to be leaders in the church because “They are not ready yet.”
Sadly, these same pastors generally end up with few, if any, people on their leadership teams.
The blueprint that Jesus gave us for selecting leaders who would then serve beside us in the church is completely contrary to this type of selection process.
When Jesus first chose His disciples, they were inexperienced and immature as leaders. Here’s some examples of their early shortcomings:
- Lack of Faith: One of the most prominent examples is their lack of faith during the storm on the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 8:23-27). They panicked and woke Jesus, questioning His concern for their safety. This demonstrated their initial struggle to fully trust in His power and authority.
- Pride and Ambition: On several occasions, the disciples argued among themselves about who was the greatest (Mark 9:33-37). This reveals their early preoccupation with personal status and ambition rather than a servant’s heart.
- Misunderstanding Jesus’ Teachings: The disciples often struggled to grasp the deeper spiritual meanings behind Jesus’ parables and teachings. They would frequently ask Him for explanations (Matthew 13:10-11), indicating their need for spiritual growth and understanding of His Word.
- Fear and Denial: When Jesus was arrested, Peter, one of His closest disciples, denied knowing Him three times out of fear (Matthew 26:69-75). This showed vulnerability and fearfulness in the face of opposition.
- Impulsive Actions: In the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus was about to be arrested, Peter impulsively drew his sword and cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant (Matthew 26:51). This impulsive act revealed a lack of wisdom and readiness to handle difficult situations.
When we examine the leadership style of Jesus, we find a remarkable example of how even those who may not initially exhibit faithfulness, teachability, a heart for God, good stewardship, or even a love for their pastor can still have the potential to become leaders in the church.
Jesus reached out to individuals who might not have seemed like obvious choices for leadership. Take for instance Peter, who denied Jesus three times during His crucifixion. Despite Peter’s repeated failures, Jesus saw his potential and entrusted him with enormous responsibilities. Peter’s eventual ministry is one of the most powerful examples of an anointed Apostolic ministry found in scripture.
None of Jesus’ chosen disciples were initially prepared for the monumental tasks He had in mind when He called them. They had their share of shortcomings and immaturity. However, as they walked alongside Jesus, received His teachings, and were empowered by the Holy Spirit, they underwent a remarkable transformation. They evolved into strong and capable leaders who played pivotal roles in spreading the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
This profound example teaches us that a person’s readiness for leadership is not solely determined by their initial qualities or abilities. In ministry, it’s quite common for leaders to begin with weaknesses and areas needing growth, just as the disciples did. This is a powerful reminder that God can utilize imperfect vessels to accomplish Kingdom growth, and the process of maturation is an ongoing, lifelong journey.
Even individuals who may not initially exhibit qualities such as faithfulness, teachability, a fervent heart for God, exceptional stewardship, or an overt love for their pastor possess the potential to become valuable leaders within the church. It’s our duty as spiritual leaders to recognize this potential and nurture it through mentorship, discipleship, training and the ongoing work of His Holy Spirit in their lives.
Remember, just as Jesus saw the potential in His disciples and patiently guided them towards greatness, you too have the opportunity to help individuals grow into the leaders God intends them to be. Embrace their imperfections as opportunities for growth, and trust in the transforming power of His Holy Spirit in their lives.