Leadership development is a danger. Many churches today are suffering from a lack of leaders. There are many reasons (and excuses). Some of the reasons include: no intentional plan, no vision, low levels of commitment, no training, and many more. In my experience, by far and away the greatest reason for the lack of leaders is poor disciple-making.
Since church leaders (pastors and teachers, etc.) are given to the church to equip the saints, disciple-making will naturally result in people stepping forward to serve, share, and lead. The problem is that too often the order of things is reversed. What do I mean?
With the pressing issue of leadership shortage, the common response is to draft warm bodies and to train leaders. Now, don’t get me wrong. Leadership training can be effective, but ideally it should take place after being discipled.
In my experience, when we train leaders before we disciple them, we get leaders who attempt to lead from a business perspective rather than from a Kingdom perspective. They respond without faith. They are concerned more about dollars and plans than about people and needs. Bottom line: they jump to conclusions and make decisions without seeking God first.
Recently, I observed as an associate pastor discipled five men. They spent time walking through scripture together for twelve months. During that year, all five of those men stepped into leadership. Too often today, people are running away when approached about serving. Disciple-making helps them desire and seek to serve.
Does your church need more leaders? Begin discipling men, women, and teens. Be patient and watch what God does. Make disciples!