Article by Teresa Chang
When God started speaking to me in dreams, my church leaders did not quite know what to make of it. Some were afraid, others were just nonchalant about it, and as such, I did not have a good avenue to grow in my gift. Since attending Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry, I have found great leadership and community willing to disciple me and speak into my life, as well as give me feedback and hedge me in so that I can best grow in my prophetic gifting. I am thankful that God has surrounded me with people I can trust who want the best for me as they help me grow. New prophetic church leaders come out of incubators such as church small groups, worship teams, prophetic communities and intercessory teams. It is important to raise them up and work with them to release new expressions of prophetic ministry in your world.
Begin to take note of the individuals in your church who seem to be prophetic: people who are hearing God’s voice, receiving words of knowledge and wisdom, having dreams and visions, etc. Once a quarter or even bimonthly, have an “altar call” for prophetically gifted people, and gather them together from time to time 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. In addition to any other ministry they may be doing, they need to be given permission to function prophetically in their church small groups and ministry teams. Request and try to maintain permission to speak into their lives, providing guidance and correction when needed.
As you do these things, you will harvest a “crop” of new prophetic gifting that will further prophetic growth in your church.
Leadership Development and Delegation
One of the primary needs in most churches is leadership development and delegation. Although delegation seems like it would be an obvious activity, it can be challenging to implement and carry out effectively. One of the biggest misunderstandings is the difference between leaders and workers. Most pastors will give responsibilities to people—but only as workers. A worker is someone who serves in the presence of his church leader, but a leader is one who serves in the absence of his leader. In other words, if our delegation is limited to workers who do not directly pastor or develop others, we are not truly delegating; we are just assigning jobs to people.
A pastor needs to build a culture of trust and honor that can support the delegation of leaders who have true responsibility.
Keep in mind that true delegation is not merely saying, “Yes,” to leaders who lead in your absence—it is also the ability to say, “No,” to those who continue to demand your attention, even though they are under one of your delegated church leaders. Until you are able to say, “No,” and require that members seek care and counsel from their ministry or home group leader, those leaders will be disempowered and you could find yourself sabotaging your growth.
The average church in America is around 60 people. A pastor can care for only so many when she is doing all the work. In order to break this barrier, the pastor needs to lead through leaders, which requires a serious choice: You can pastor people or you can lead leaders. Ultimately, this is the difference between delegation and development. It’s fairly easy to give a task to someone—it is much more intensive to build a developmental relationship with that person. Yet that is what Jesus meant when He commissioned us to make disciples. As church leaders, we must become people developers.