Who could you ask to lead your congregation, with you? Who will you train up to lead another one? Do any of these people remind you of Jesus?
When he was asking this question, Jesus went up on a mountain and prayed all night (Luke 6.12-13). I have never done that myself, and I don’t know of anyone else who has – but neither do I know any leaders who have multiplied their disciples and congregations to 3 or 4 generations!
Maybe there is a link there?
It is very tempting to pick leaders who are like you, who are emotionally and/or financially stable, who are charismatic, or gifted, or perhaps middle-class, or university educated, or of a certain age (or gender?), or whatever other leadership criteria is currently in fashion.
We can be very, VERY worldly in our ideas about leadership. Our false assumptions often lead us (and others) into time-consuming, and even dangerous, errors of judgement. The Apostle Paul has some characteristically helpful words on such things: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is” [Romans 12.2].
Therefore, a good starting point is to NOT trust our own starting points! We should humble ourselves and imitate Jesus by spending some time in prayer, asking whom He would select for the various tasks at hand. We should NOT assume that we already know whom these people are, because: “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” [Isaiah 55.8-9].
Once we have done this, and ‘cleansed our minds’ of some of our human assumptions, a helpful next step can be to apply a different ‘lens’ to the people whom we could choose. One ‘lens’, offered by Danish Pastor Keld Dahlman, is to look for people who are:
Hungry. Do they want more of God, more for His people, more of His Kingdom?
Humble. Do they listen to God, to others, and to correction? Or are they proud?
Helpful. Are they willing, and have the capacity, to help? Or are they too busy?
Although this is a somewhat simplistic lens, it steers us away from selecting people purely on the basis of what they can do, and towards selecting people on the basis of who they are. If nothing else, we should select people who somehow remind us of Jesus, and who want to be part of a team. On this basis, which of the people in your congregations come to mind? Who might the Spirit be calling to serve His people next? Will you ask them? Will you train them up?
Teams need leaders.
This blog contains the twelth principle taught to all new congregation leaders in the Joshua Centre’s Leadership Development Program (within the theme: ‘Lead Your Team’).