Article by Teresa Chang
One of my best friends started as a church leader by becoming the head of our college group soon after we graduated from our university. He was discipled by our previous college group leader, and had led many of us to Christ or helped us to turn back to our faith. As our church’s college group leader, he led for several years and was extremely intentional about discipling the students under him. Many of his students are now leaders in our church, including our pastoral intern, who continues on leading our college group ministry! His family even bought a home next to the university so that students could have a place to come eat and hang out.
Who are you raising up? Who is your legacy?
Look at your congregation and try to identify the individuals who have pastoral callings. You could use a gift assessment tool like the one we offer at www.DestinyFinder.com to help you identify the gifts and callings of individuals in your church. As you preach on pastoral care and the shepherd’s heart, from time to time do “altar calls” for those who believe they are called to pastoral ministry and see who responds.
Gather these individuals together periodically and pour into them. Make sure they are part of your overall leadership structure, that they value the whole Body of Christ and that they are part of church small groups. Put them in positions of leadership that will highlight their gifting so they can be more impactful. In addition to any other ministry they may be doing, they need to be given permission to function pastorally in their church small groups.
Help people discover themselves as caregivers. There are people in your congregation who may be more “people oriented” than you, and they can be trained as connectors who create a sense of love and community in your church. Foster that kind of relationship with your team.