In yesterdays post I explained the drawbacks of the Program Oriented approach to leadership development. When I was in my second year as Leadership Development Pastor at Seacoast these drawbacks were affecting our ability to develop leaders at the same pace as our growth rate. In my frustration I kept thinking, “There has to be a better way”.
One morning I read Ephesians 4:11-12. “He has given prophets, apostles, teachers- preachers, evangelists to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry so that the church may be built up.” God prompted me to pause and began to challenge my thinking. I had read this verse a thousand times and I thought, “I know God, it’s my job as a pastor to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry.” But then it hit me – look at who he is talking about. He says prophets, apostles, evangelist, teachers, preachers…these weren’t paid positions in the church they were lay leaders. Paul is saying it’s their job to equip others to do the work of the ministry. That morning I wrote out a paraphrase of that verse, “He has given leaders to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry.”
This was revolutionary to my thinking. Anyone in the church who wears the title leader is responsible for raising up new leaders. Suddenly I began to ask What if? What if we took Ephesians 4:11-12 seriously? What if we looked to our campus pastor to train up future campus pastors, what if we looked to our assistant pastors to raise up future assistant pastors, what if we looked to our coaches to raise up future coaches and small group leaders to raise up small group leaders. We had always made Leadership Training Church-Centric. But what if we did what Paul suggested in Ephesians 4 and decentralized leadership training? What if we moved away from the Program Oriented approach and moved to a People Oriented approach to leadership development by empowering our current leaders to raise up leaders?
I became convinced of the power of the People Oriented approach when I put the math to it. We had 10 Campus Pastors, around 25 pastors, 40 coaches and 300 small group leaders. That was a potential of 375 leadership developers! Compare that to the three we used in our Program Oriented approach.
Think about this: What could happen in your church over the next 3 years if 20% of your leaders began to reproduce themselves today? What are the first steps you will take toward a People Oriented approach to Leadership Development?