You have to equip and empower them. You have to raise them up from the harvest to reach the harvest. There are no such things as “ready-made leaders.”
Leadership development cannot be ignored.
Gary Rohrmayer identifies this as one of the significant landmines that church planters experience. They fail to make leadership development a priority. They fail to ensure that every new believer (potential missional leader) be provided an opportunity to be mentored in areas of spiritual formation, multiplication, and ministry leadership skills. (Church Planting Landmines, p. 30)
Leaders must develop an intentional process for raising up missional leaders. To embrace a leadership development lifestyle, one must consider each phase of an emerging leader’s growth. In many churches today, as long as you have a pulse, you are a candidate for leading others. Unfortunately, this ignores the critical aspect to providing spiritual leadership: proven character. Since being must precede doing, it is necessary to pay attention to the maturing of leaders in Christian character prior to the deploying of leaders in a ministry context.
Seven Phases of a Leadership Development Process
Each of these phases builds on the preceding phase and cannot be passed over as non-essential. Pastors cannot let the tyranny of the urgent supersede the process of leadership development. Every time I have determined that I can take a short-cut in this process, it has failed to work.
Phase One: Maturing
Every believer must be maturing spiritually. Increasing in loving obedience to Jesus is necessary for every follower of Jesus.
Before someone can start down the path of leadership development, there must be evidence they are maturing.
It’s about a pursuit of becoming mature; not about arriving at maturity.
Here are some questions to help you evaluate how a potential leaders is maturing…
- Are they passionate about their spiritual growth?
- What marks of maturity are evident?
- What growth areas need to be addressed?
- Do they maintain a daily “time alone with God” (TAWG)?
- Do they practice spiritual disciplines?
- Are they experiencing answers to prayer?
- Are they influencing others to grow spiritually?
- Is there evidence of spiritual fruit?
Consider how you can come alongside and strengthen others in their relationship with God. Help them to live in obedience to God. Obeying God is evidence of maturing.
Without an obvious spiritual maturing, an individual is not qualified for spiritual leadership.
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