Thursday, January 21, 2010

Raising up church leaders...

I was recently talking to a colleague about a situation at his church that really got me thinking about how the raising up of leaders has become more “slot filling” than true discipleship.

It seems that a rather important aspect of his church has fallen apart because many people were depending on a single person to lead. So when the leader was unable to serve anymore, there was nobody to pick up the slack. And there was nobody in the entire body who was willing to step-up and use their God-given gifts to serve. Not surprisingly, the group has ceased to exist and an important area of growth opportunity is gone.

It is always sad when a group that exists to help people grow towards Christ-likeness falls apart. One major reason for this group falling apart is because there was nobody in the ready position. In other words, there was nobody being trained up to be the next leader. It’s a pretty simple concept really; leaders training their replacements. One never knows when God will decide to bring people other places. When this happens, (and it will), we should have others ready to step-up and lead.

In the Bible, we see that God not only ordains leaders but also has others who learn from them so that when there is a need for new leadership, the transition is smooth. Jesus taught His disciples throughout His ministry. He was preparing them for the day when He would be gone. The Apostles also practiced this approach often. When it came time to select a replacement for Judas, they chose from men who had been with them and learned about their ministry. When the Apostles needed men to help them with the everyday tasks of the ministry, they selected from those who already involved. And those are only a few examples.

My point is that we need to have people involved in our church communities who are able to provide leadership if the need arises. We as believers are not called to be bystanders; we are called to use our God-given gifts to serve Him, which includes helping with church functions. It is not only up to who we see as the “professionals” to run the church, it is the duty of ALL believers!

We need to pray about where God wants us to serve and become involved in that particular area of our church community. We need only be armed with our gifts and a teachable spirit. As leaders, we need to be willing to disciple those who serve with us and be prepared for the day when God moves people around.

Let’s all step-up and answer God’s call to serve in our church communities. If we do, situations like the one my friend recently experienced will no longer be an issue.

And that’s how I see it!

Thanks for reading and God bless!  :-)

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