So how does a Pastor get started with building a church full of leaders? She does so by faith. How does a Pastor break away from the tradition of the solitary leader? He does so by trusting God for the grace to bring the vision of greater church leadership capacity to life.
A few years ago, I embarked upon a leadership development program for a Pastor I’ll call James. Pastor James really believed in his heart that the key to his ministry going to the next level was to invest in building the leadership capacity of his church. Yet a friend of his cautioned him about building a church full of leaders. Apparently, this friend did not think it was wise to develop so many leaders in a church. Yet Pastor James persisted in this journey because he believed in investing in the people of God to do the work of ministry and he was not afraid of raising up church leaders. Pastor James led by faith and not by fear. And if you want to build your own church of leaders, you too must lead by faith and not by fear.
Faith is the window into possibilities and it is by faith that we do what seems impossible. Pastor James had heard from God and believed equipping and empowering the people of his congregation for greater levels of service was what God would have him to do. That type of leadership development was not popular in his denomination or network of leaders. But he persisted in spite of popular opinion.
And so by faith we trained nearly 300 leaders over a five year period. To this day I still run into leaders from this church who speak about how the leadership training helped to transform them and their service.
Pastor James led by faith.
Conversely his friend, Pastor Lyle, seemed to lead by fear. Perhaps fueled by old paradigms in which the Pastor was seen as the only true leader of a local church, Pastor Lyle seemed to fear 3 things—fear of losing control, fear of change, and ultimately, the fear of the future.
Fear, however, is a negative emotion that clouds our judgment, distorts our perspective and dampens our spirit. To achieve any God-sized dream, we can never lead with fear. And building a church full of leaders is a God-sized vision whose ultimate aim is to transform people within our congregations in order to transform our surrounding communities.
What about you? What God-sized dream do you have for change in and around your community? Know that it will take more than your individual effort to bring this vision to life. It will take investing in the people in your congregation to develop the leadership capacity of your church. It will take creating a shared vision that these leaders move toward together with you. It will take more people sharing in the leadership processes of your church.
It will take you leading by faith…and not by fear. Lets get started today!