How to Lead Leaders

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The average church size in America is around 60 people. Have you ever stopped to wonder why?

A pastor can care for only so many when he or she is doing all the work. In order to break this barrier, the pastor needs to lead through leaders, which requires a serious mental shift—we can pastor people or we can lead leaders. Which will it be?

Raising Up Leaders

At Pastor’s Coach, we have five steps to leading leaders. (I adapted this list from John Wimber’s teaching on development.)

1. Identify

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.

2. Recruit

Spend time with the people God highlights 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.

3. Train

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.

4. Deploy

Deployment is the process of turning loose those you have recruited and 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 and your real trust. A worker is someone who serves in the presence of his or her leader, but a leader is one who serves in the absence of his or 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 are lacking. If you turn people loose with a job to do but you never check in with them, they could be out there floundering in need of loving parenting and a 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.

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