We can’t do it alone. Jesus gave us the mission of multiplication when He commanded us to “make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19-20). This is bigger than we can accomplish alone. Jesus recognized this when he said that the harvest is abundant but the workers are few (Matthew 9:37).
Paul understood the mission when he instructed Timothy as a young pastor, “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2). Three generations of multiplication are involved in this picture. It is not just a matter of multiplying ourselves. Rather it is about multiplying ourselves into others who will multiply themselves.
More leaders are needed. The fact is that one shepherd can only lead so many sheep (John 10:12-13). More shepherds are required in order to reach and care for more sheep. This is absolutely necessary if we are to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). In The Purpose Driven Church, Rick Warren quoted a Gallup survey which indicated that churches might have five times as many leaders serving if potential leaders were asked or trained (p. 366). The lack of additional shepherds is the number one reason more new groups are not started today.
How do I discover and enlist a Kingdom leader? The answer to this question is look to our Lord and His example. Jesus taught and modeled ministry (Mark 1:14-15) and prayed (Luke 6:12) before He called the twelve apostles (sent ones). After Jesus called them (Mark 3:13), He prepared them by continuing to teach and model ministry with them before sending them out. They were sent out in pairs (Mark 6:7) to do what He had been doing. Then He called them together for a report time (Mark 6:30).
Building Kingdom leaders takes time. Since people have varying abilities and previous experiences, enlisting, training, and multiplying leaders will usually require between six and twelve months. Consider these steps:
- Prior to asking them to serve, pray, observe, take them with you, make assignments, and debrief assignments.
- Ask them to join you in ministry.
- After asking them to serve: increase the training pace, lead them to choose and invest in an apprentice, set a launch date, celebrate the launch, and continue to coach after launch. Leading your apprentice to pray for, enlist, and train an apprentice is key!
A simple model for these steps is the following:
- I do, you watch
- I do, you help
- You do, I help
- You do, I watch
- You do, someone else watches…
Your class is the ideal place for praying, enlisting, training, and launching workers for the harvest. The church is counting on your class to build Kingdom leaders. Class leaders often make great teachers, committee members, deacons, and other church leaders. Train them well! Make disciples who make disciples! Build Kingdom leaders!