This week we are covering Leadership Pipeline, a concept and framework for churches to develop leaders at every level of ministry. Over the course of the week we will share a blog post and a podcast each day. We are also offering a free e-booklet called Developing Your Leadership Pipeline which can be downloaded here. If what you read and hear interests you be sure to register for our upcoming webinar, “Leadership Pipeline: The Role of the Volunteer.” Here is part one.
God’s hope for the world is the local church. The local church is His Plan A, and there is no Plan B. God’s agents of implementation are the people of the local church. New believers, volunteers, lay leaders, church staff members, and pastors are all called to fulfill the Great Commission. Christians are not just to be disciples but are tasked to make disciples. We must never forget that God didn’t just save us from something. He saved us for something.
Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us that we have been saved “by grace through faith,” which is a gift of God and not of our works. Verse 10 emphasizes that with this gift comes responsibility. We are God’s workmanship, and He has planned things for each and every one of us take part and to do. This work is important not only to us as believers but also as church leaders.
Paul lays the groundwork for church leaders in Ephesians 4:11-13, “And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.”
These verses remind church leaders that our work is the development of God’s people under our care. Nothing is more sacred or more strategic in His kingdom than this responsibility to equip others to serve in ministry. God did not intend for His church to be a community with a gifted pastor and staff members but to be a community of gifted people.
An inextricable connection exists between discipleship and leadership development.
Discipleship and development are two sides of the same coin. One side is character and the other side is competency. When we picture the day-to-day ministry of Jesus, we often think of Him in front of crowds. However, if you look at the life of Christ throughout the Gospels, you will find He spent more time discipling and developing the Twelve than He spent with the crowds. How Jesus allocated His time is both staggering and convicting. The Great Commission calls us to do the same. We must develop, not just do. We must make disciples, not just be disciples. We must build an army, not just an audience.
With the majority of church leaders indicating conviction regarding the importance of leadership development, why are so few actually doing it? In our conversations with church leaders, four main barriers top the list.
- They don’t know how.
- They don’t have time.
- They don’t have a framework.
- They don’t have the resources.
What will follow over the next four days is a series of blogs and podcasts to help church leaders see how to overcome these challenges. For a more full explanation, be sure to download our free e-booklet here.