Article by Teresa Chang
The local church is meant to be a leadership incubator (Matthew 28:18-20). The power of apostolic ministry in your church depends on your ability, as a primary church leader, to identify emerging apostolic leaders and mentor them into their roles. As they pioneer new ministries, they raise up the next generation of apostolic church leaders and complete the cycle: Spiritual children mature into spiritual adults, who produce more spiritual children.
Do you know who in your congregation has an apostolic calling? You could use a gift assessment tool like the one we offer at www.DestinyFinder.com to help identify the gifts and callings of individuals in your church.
Keep your eyes open for a number of apostolic traits:
- Apostles tend to see the big picture.
- They have a sense of the overall mission of Jesus.
- They appreciate each of the gifts of the Spirit and see how they can function together for maximum impact.
- They tend to be strategic thinkers and understand the immense value of operating in God’s presence and power.
- They know how to build; they can take a vision and make it reality.
- They easily gather people and call out the best in them.
The more you identify those in your church who are apostolically oriented and begin to pour into them, the more fruitful your ministry will be as a church and the more impactful you will be overall.
Raising Up Leaders
At Pastor’s Coach, we have five steps to leading leaders. We adapted this list from John Wimber’s teaching on development.
Begin by thinking about what your team needs. What are your strengths as a team and what are your weaknesses? Do you need a great administrator? Do you need an apostolic father? Identify what you need and ask God to bring that specific gift to you. Look at the people around you and ask God who He is leading to work with you.
Spend time with the people God is highlighting to you. Feel them out to see if they share your vision and values. Start inviting them to do things with you, and seek to hear from God for them in order to bless and build them up.
Actual recruiting looks like going to the person and saying, “I’ve been praying, and now that I know you better, I really think you have the gift mix I need. Would you please pray about walking with me in what I’m about to do?” Recruit them into what you are building.
Everyone you are leading needs to be trained in what you are doing. Spend time with your people; share your vision, values and goals with them; and train them in the specific functions you are asking them to carry out.
Deployment is the process of turning loose those you trained to lead. Don’t give them meaningless tasks that don’t allow them to be leaders; instead, trust them to lead in your absence and do what you would do in that situation. They should have real responsibilities as well as your trust.
A worker is someone who serves in the presence of her leader, but a leader is one who serves in the absence of her leader.
5. Support: Monitor and Nurture
After you deploy the leaders under you, monitor their activity in a way that builds them up and helps them go even further. Make sure the quality of what they are doing matches your criteria, while you keep encouraging and blessing them.
Nurturing is essentially pastoral care. Most burnout occurs when monitoring and nurturing haven’t happened or happened poorly. If you turn people loose with a job to do but you never check in with them, they could be out there floundering, needing parenting and a loving, steady hand to lead them forward. Love them. Keep leading them. Allow them to grow.
If you walk out these five steps with your leaders, you will have an ever-multiplying leadership team that will carry your pastoral care to a growing congregation.