“WHERE DID YOU GET ALL THESE LEADERS, Steve?” inquired by a visiting missionary to our beloved pastor. “Just right here.” And he would add, “You should have seen them when we found them. You wldn’t recognize them at all! And you should have heard how (horrible) they preach before…”
We just laugh about it when Steve would tell these types of conversations. The ‘trade secret’ of the ministry was so simple but usually not given much attention: a consistent hard work of making and equipping disciples, in-house. The philosophy behind our version of ‘ENLI’– in-house leadership training school, ‘Leadership Labs‘ during summer time, two-by-two evangelism in the campuses, etc, etc…is the desire to raise leaders from the ranks. There is that undeniable culture of discipleship. Where streams of students would get, not just teaching-impartation of Bible knowledge and values, but also training, where there’s an avenue for impartation of skills and wisdom.
“to prepare God’s people for works of service…”
A conscious effort of ‘preparing God’s people for works of service’ across the board is what makes us able to multiply and develop leaders. A ‘man-of-God’ syndrome is abhorred, or at least, minimized. Success in ministry, at least in the campuses, is measured by having successors rather than a numbers game.
Speaking of developing leaders, one of the best descriptions regarding David that I really treasure in the Scriptures is the one found in Psalms. This verse really epitomizes the importance of having the skills needed in leadership as it is contrasted with having the character (integrity of heart).
Leading God’s people requires the balance of both.
“And David shepherded them with integrity of heart (impartation by teaching); with skillful hands (impartation by training) he led them.
An “integrity of heart” – a “skillful hands = inefficiency.
A “skillful hands”- an“integrity of heart” = shallowness.
An “integrity of heart + a “skillful hands” = epitome (of a shepherd of God’s people).
I believe we have variety of opportunities for our local church members, who are small group leaders, to get to a place of further equipping.
Through our small groups, where each member is exposed to a firsthand life/ministry coaching; through our two years of in-house leadership training classes (E.N.L.I.); through our Leaders’ Lectures; through our bi-monthly all-small-group-leaders rally (V.I.P.); and every other month of impartation and encouragement from each pastoral staff to his/her block of small group leaders; or at least, someone who cares enough about you to share a time in a regular basis, to help bring you to a ‘hole natha’ level in leadership.
I hope by now, you’ve surmised how I value (as a local church pastor), leadership development. And I believe this is the way to be assured that the movement’s core values and DNA are passed down to the next generation of leaders.
I think my conclusion is undeniable:
“It’s HIP to be EQUIPPED!”