by Ken Adams, Impact Discipleship Ministries
When I talk to other pastors, I am constantly reminded that one of the greatest needs in the Church today 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 find more leaders. If the truth be told, most pastors hope really good leaders will transfer 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. 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 need to have a plan to develop leaders the same way Jesus did. Here are three steps I believe that He took to develop His key leaders.
1. The first step in leadership development for Christ was selection. Jesus didn’t just choose anybody. He chose potential leaders who had a hunger and desire for more. Jesus did not select people who had lots of education or experience. He selected people those who the “raw ingredients” that could be shaped and molded into disciple making leaders. Jesus selected leaders based on potential, not on pedigree.
2. The second step in leadership development for Christ was preparation. Jesus took His potential leaders into a process of preparation we call discipleship. Jesus made disciples and then appointed them to be leaders. It took Him three years to develop His group of disciples into ready leaders that could lead His movement. Jesus did not tell us to “make leaders of all nations.” He told us to make disciples, and when we do that, we will always have plenty of leaders waiting to be appointed.
3. The third step in leadership development for Christ was mobilization. Once Jesus had prepared His disciples He needed to mobilize them into positions 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 disciples became the leaders of the Church in 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 its 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.