The book Ten Best Practices to Make Your Sunday School Work (Ken Hemphill and Bill Taylor) contains some great ideas about developing an intentional process to continually multiply leaders. Here are three of those ideas:
- Teach every believer to be in service and on mission and to multiply themselves.
- Make leader enlistment an ongoing process rather than an annual action.
- Identify prospective leaders and to guide them toward service for Christ and His church.
Teach every believer to be in service and on mission and to multiply themselves
Teachers are key persons in multiplying leaders. Believers need to know what the Bible teaches about spiritual gifts and about serving God and others. Teach what the Bible says about spiritual gifts. Help believers understand how they are gifted. Help each one discover his or her gifts. Teach what the Bible says about our stewardship of service. Help members see that God expects us to use all the resources He has given us, including spiritual gifts, to serve Him and to serve others. Teach what the Bible says about the rewards of service. True satisfaction comes to believers when they discover the purpose for which God has created them and serve Him in that way. Teach every believer to be in service and on mission and to multiply themselves.
Make leader enlistment an ongoing process rather than an annual action
Too often our leader enlistment is a frantic once-a-year action to fill empty slots and then is forgotten until the next year rolls around. I’ve found that a growing church must be identifying and enlisting new leaders all the time. Let me talk particularly about adult and student groups. One of the best ways we develop new leaders is to give adults and students an opportunity to serve within their group. Enlist persons to serve as apprentices, care group leaders, fellowship leaders, prayer leaders, ministry leaders, outreach leaders, or any other ministry your group might need. I’ve found you have more success in enlisting these in-group leaders if you give them permission to resign at any time and try another ministry that fits them better. This means ongoing enlistment. It’s more work, but you’ll multiply leaders more rapidly. Make leader enlistment an ongoing process rather than an annual action.
Identify prospective leaders and guide them toward service for Christ and His church
While this speaks generally to all church leaders, it speaks specifically to leaders of adult groups. Where do new leaders come from? Most come from an adult group. Who knows best who has potential to be a leader? Adult group leaders should know their group members better than church leaders who have less interaction with those members. Let’s pray that God will raise up leaders in our groups.
How do you identify prospective leaders in your group? You give persons an opportunity to serve.
- Organize your group to create opportunities for service such as care group leaders and other group leaders mentioned above.
- Take persons with you as you engage in ministry and outreach. Give them an opportunity to see you minister and to minister themselves with support from you.
- Enlist an apprentice. This may be the most effective means of developing a new leader. Enlist someone to walk alongside you in ministry, to learn how to minister step-by-step, and to ultimately be prepared to take your place.
Identify prospective leaders and guide them toward service for Christ and His church.
Effective leaders multiply leaders. They help persons they are leading to discover their gifts, grow in Christ, and find a place of service. What are doing that’s helping you multiply leaders?
Bob Wood serves the Baptist State Convention of Michigan, assisting churches to reach their potential in fulfilling the Great Commission.