Pastors, Are You Raising Up Leaders?
The life of a pastor can be an extremely busy one. There are sermons to preach, ministries to oversee, people to counsel, meetings, committees, and a whole host of other things. In the midst of all these responsibilities, are you raising up leaders? In his ministry in the Gospels, Jesus gives us a picture of what it means to raise up leaders. Are you following his example?
It Takes Time
Jesus was intentional about how he spent his time. Even as he was teaching crowds, he made sure that he was using those moments to teach his disciples as well. He would teach the crowd, and then take his disciples aside and explain his words and actions more clearly to them. He spent a lot of time investing in a relatively small group of men. But he knew that for the gospel to reach the world, he needed to have a deep impact on a small group of disciples, rather than a shallow impact on a large crowd of people with mixed levels of commitment. Who are you spending your time with?
It Takes Trust
Jesus trusted his disciples to be ambassadors. He would teach them for a while, and then send them out to teach what he taught them. This was a gradual process, like learning to ride a bike with training wheels. He intentionally sent them out two-by-two on short-term assignments to give them a helper in their ministry and an assignment they could handle. As they could handle greater assignments, he gave them more to do, until eventually, he commissioned them to go to the ends of the earth in the power of the Holy Spirit. Are you equipping and empowering leaders, and then entrusting them to tasks? Do you trust the leaders you have developed enough to take off the training wheels? Enough to let them fall and scrape their knee a few times? Enough to give up your pulpit or even your job?
It Takes the Spirit
Jesus recognized that the effectiveness of his disciples depended on the Spirit, more so than their gifts or abilities. He trained and equipped them, but sent them out only after the Spirit was given. In Paul’s day, the Spirit had already been given. This is why Paul could leave an area relatively recently after planting a church there. He taught and trained them, but then he entrusted them to the Spirit and moved on. Are you taking the Spirit into account in your ministry to leaders? Do you trust that the Spirit can lead them even beyond where you have taught them?
The future of the church in every generation depends on raising up leaders. Seminaries and theology schools can’t do this. This is the responsibility of the local church. Pastors, are you doing your part?