The church is desperately in need for more missional leaders to rise up in it ranks. Over the next four posts we will be look at the essential skills that help a leader align their churches with God’s mission.
1. Empowering leaders around them.
Missional leaders are multiplying leaders. They understand that within the Great Commission they have all they need to get the job done. They have been empowered with spiritual authority, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” (Matthew 28:18 NIV) They have been entrusted with a specific task, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV) They have the encouraging promise of His presence to help them along the way, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20 NIV)
Missional leaders understand that the mission is bigger than them and that they will need hundreds and thousands of other leaders to achieve God’s missional goals. They make it their business to always be on the search for emerging leaders, with the eye of an eagle they look for those who possess the raw leadership skills. My friend, Tom Nebel, likes to say that he is not a recruiter but just a spotter always looking for potential in those around him. They are leaders who never do anything alone. They always have some one along observing because they understand the power of the informal equipping process and that more is caught than taught in leadership settings. They understand that everything the church does revolves around one aim “make disciples”. If a church is good at making disciples it will be good at making leaders because in the end, a good spiritual formation plan will lead to an accelerated spiritual multiplication. Missional leaders are always evaluating and tweaking the spiritual formation process or system to see if they are hitting their mark.
Missional leaders know what it is to be entrusted by someone with a task. They have, over time, cultivated the art of delegating responsibility to trusted leaders. They take the time to communicate expectations, responsibilities and parameters of the job. They provide guidance and encouragement through coaching. They provide positive reinforcement through celebrating the smallest victory in that leader’s ministry. When I think of an empowering leader my mind always runs to Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, who earned the nickname “Barnabas, son of encouragement.” (Acts 4:36 NIV) Barnabas was a ‘leader-maker’ who sought out potential leaders, who generously created opportunities for leaders to develop their area of giftedness and who walked alongside, nurturing leaders to encouragement. Barnabas sought out Saul, who became Paul, and together they sparked a revolution that still burns today all over the world.
Questions for Reflection:
- How are you reproducing yourself as a follower of Jesus?
- How are your leaders reproducing themselves as followers of Jesus?
- Could you or your leaders describe your spiritual formation pathway?
- Who are the ministry apprentices that you are mentoring or coaching at this time?
- Who are the leader makers in your church?
- How are you empowering the leaders in your church?
Next Post: Building and maintaining healthy relationships.
Excerpt from NextSteps for Leading a Missional Church