The most-asked question I hear from pastors is – “How do I get more leaders?” Most pastors say they need more leaders over money, buildings, and programs. The problem is they don’t know where to find them. They don’t say it, but hope they move in from another church!
So, the big question is, where did Jesus get His leaders? They certainly did not come from another church. He developed them out of the harvest. Jesus developed and deployed the leaders for His leadership team from the culture around Him. He took seekers and led them to become leaders eventually.
Jesus identified some potential future leaders, and He told them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19) Jesus told these men to come and let Him make them into fishermen – THEN He will send them out to fish.
The “making of fishermen” is what we call discipleship. Jesus took twelve people, and He trained them to be fishermen. Once they were ready to fish, He sent them out alone. This is the approach to leadership we need today. The best way to develop and deploy leaders in the Church is to build leadership out of discipleship.
When leadership is developed out of discipleship, you have a better idea of what kind of person you are deploying into leadership. You know some of their character and conduct. You have had an opportunity to observe this person and to see them grow. When they come from discipleship, you have a better idea of whether or not they are qualified to be a leader.
Too many churches are placing people into leadership who are not qualified to lead. Then, we wonder why the Church is not accomplishing its mission. When we deploy people as leaders prematurely, we will likely regret it later. Before you vote on an elder or deacon board, why not narrow your potential pool to individuals who have proven themselves fully trained disciples of Christ? Those individuals should be ready and able to lead an organization with a mission to make disciples.
The local church seems to be one of the only organizations in the world with no real process or pipeline for developing and deploying the next generation of leaders. The military is constantly training future generals. School systems are developing future teachers and administrators. Athletic franchises are building the next major leaguer. In the same way, the Church ought to be consistently training disciples who will eventually become leaders.
Let us know if you need help developing disciples who will become leaders. Impact Discipleship Ministries exists to inspire people and churches to be and build disciples of Jesus Christ.