Article by Stephen Cullingford
In the past few weeks I learned a lot about the power we as church leaders have in giving our people authority and empowering them to step out to be what they’re called to be; a position to change lives and turn history in the culture around us. As much we need a leadership team that works together and learns to compliment each other, we have to learn to activate our congregations so they start to actually move into their callings. We also want to learn how to build a platform where our leaders can grow into their ministries so that the church becomes a platform for each person to impact the culture. Our current church model looks more like gathering people to have a good time of recharging and community. Why should we change into a church where we actually have to do something that drives us out of our comfort zone?
Jesus never taught people to gather and just have community and just enjoy the heaven on earth that is to come. Instead He decided to equip His disciples to learn from what He did as He saw what the Father was doing and then to follow His footsteps and do the same. He taught, empowered, practiced and let them practice in watching Him and then let the disciples go out on their own and give feedback afterwards. Jesus came to reconcile us to build His Kingdom here on earth, until He comes back to take His place at the throne of the Kingdom that we advanced. The whole book of Acts shows how churches were meant to be places where people met to grow and increase the Kingdom by learning to make make disciple makers. How did the twelve disciples suddenly become seventy and then the seventy grow into churches of deep love, where Paul says “by the love for each other the world will see how great Jesus’ work is”? Jesus taught his disciples to grow disciples, so they could advance God’s Kingdom in quantity and quality. Equipping our leaders and congregation should look the same. We have to learn to give our people responsibility to pass on what they learn with Jesus.
When we have all five gifts in place in the church and people are healthy, we have to give our leaders a platform of discipling people so they can disciple others. As soon as people reach a certain point in maturity where they know who Jesus is and carry the Holy Spirit, they simply need to be motivated to move in their giftings and teach others and tell them what they have experienced in Jesus. This requires several steps though. First, you need to get to know your people. Get to know them and love them. Secondly, teach them of the kingdom and the gospel that you experienced and show them that they can live in that as well; make it available for them. Third, get them to walk in it after you demonstrate what you teach and let them learn to trust the Holy Spirit in them to walk in the fullness of His gifts. Then, teach them and counsel them on how they do and let them teach other people. After that, go on to the next person. This is what discipleship looks like.
It’s as simple as giving your leaders the freedom to lead in their giftings. Know your people and what the church can carry, let them build groups where they can teach their gifting, so they can build leaders who grow with the new people who come with the church growth. As the senior leaders, we have to learn to pass on what we have and empower the church to carry itself and be apostles who guide them into deeper truths. Then we shall continuously grow in building His kingdom here on earth. God bless you today as you learn to grow leaders around you who are spearheading what you have built, and start to grow a church that is proactive and spreading the glory of God’s goodness here on earth.