Accelerating Leadership GROWTH
by Dr. Waylon B. Moore
Typical church: discouraged staff, frazzled youth workers, tired deacons, and
over-crowded nurseries. Give us Spirit-filled workers! is the cry.
On the local church level, what that often means is: Please, Lord, bring
us a soldout, Sunday-School teaching saint from Calvary Big Church
in the next state. However, few people join our churches with
well-developed leadership qualities.
The leadership gap is even more profound overseas than in North America. Not
only are there fewer dedicated church members, but there is also a dirth of
pastors to shepherd them. Let me share statistics from three countries that are
desperate for pastors. In Brazil thousands are being saved daily. But, it is
estimated that there are over 10,000 missions and preaching points without a
pastor or staff.
In Germany, there are more pastors retiring
year than the total number of men graduating from their seminaries in
years. Also, close to 200 missions and preaching points are pastorless
already. In Portugal, just three men graduated from the Baptist seminary this
This shortage of true ministers be they lay or clergy
is an ageless dilemma. Jesus entered a world that had never seen a Bible, read
a tract, or heard Christian radio. His statement is so radical that it sounds
Look on the fields, for they are white
(John 4:35). Fields ready to be harvested, without Christian literature,
strategically-planted churches, or decades of Gospel seed-sowing? Yes!
That's wonderful news. However, Jesus proclaimed a well-established problem:
The harvest is plentiful but
the workers are few
(Matthew 9:37, NIV).
Where can we get church leaders and pastors who have the right
stuff to equip baby believers and train them to reproduce?
For many denominations the standard answer is: seminary. However, as I've
indicated from the above examples, our seminaries and Bible schools graduate
of church leaders. On the other hand, the millions coming to Christ worldwide
of leadership to guide them. This God-blessed channel of formal schooling is
just not adequate. In addition, we cannot depend on a few gifted professors to
do what we as teachers, mentors, deacons, and pastoral staff aren't willing to
give our time to. God gives us the responsibility of equipping the saints for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12).
Pray for Fresh Workers
To produce thousands of laborers for the harvest, we must do
exactly what Jesus says.
First, we follow Christ's command:
Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth
labourers . . . .
(Matthew 9:38). the phrase send forth literally means to
thrust out. That's exactly what God did with the Early Church! They
were comfortable in Jerusalem Community Church, but the Lord used persecution
to drive them to lands needing the Gospel. We must make a personal, daily
commitment to pray specifically for workers both for overseas missions
and for our churches.
Embrace a New Category of Ministers
Second, as we pray, God
push many into leadership who haven't thought of vocational ministry. Some
will go to seminary. But thousands will not. So, on mission fields and in local
new category and new procedure
for building workers must be targeted. One category is the bi-vocational
pastor. God has used ministers serving in this way for centuries, but our
acceptance of them is way behind. Jesus was a carpenter,
too. Paul was a tentmaker.
Not only can God use bi-vocational pastors, but also full-time ministers who
haven't been to seminary. We sometimes call them lay pastors or
lay evangelists. Unfortunately, in some countries they are not
even allowed to pastor. When I came to Tampa to pastor in the '60's, I was
surprised to discover that there were only two other seminary graduates in our
group of 70 Baptist churches! But, I learned much from these pastors.
Copy Jesus' Procedure for Leadership Training
Third, to close the leadership gap we must copy Jesus' simple plan for
raising up workers: mentoring in a ministry lifestyle. One definition of
mentoring is a relational experience through which one person
empowers another by sharing God-given resources (Paul D. Stanley & J.
Connecting: The Mentoring Relationships You Need to Succeed in Life
(Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1992), p.12).
Jesus mentor-discipled people as His primary channel to evangelize the world.
His method was lifestyle He lived with twelve men, 14-16 hours a day for
three years. When He commanded follow me His two-word
summary of the New Testament the disciples responded positively by
What elements were involved in Jesus' ministry lifestyle?
Publicly, He modeled four things before His disciples:
Jesus is our supreme model for any teacher or preacher.
Therefore, to emphasize and model the
ministry of Jesus but not model and equip others in Jesus'
ministry is to miss the Great Commission. Jesus'
ministry was equally important and more reproducible. He modeled:
How did Paul equip Timothy to pastor First Church of Ephesus? Just before
dying, Paul reminds Timothy how he was taught to minister. Note how many of the
following qualities and experiences can be learned by a sermon or lecture, and
how many can only be learned
You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose,
faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch.
(2 Timothy 3:10-11).
A pastor's doctrine, his
can be learned by listening to sermons. But, Timothy could not have learned
the other eight areas (half of which are character qualities) except by seeing
them lived out during ministry together. Timothy was there! Pastor or church
leader, whom are you taking WITH you to witness, to visit the hospitals, and to
your home? Who sees you endure sufferings?
Titus, mentored by Paul, went to help the Corinthians and became a pastor in
Crete. Paul writes of him:
walked we not in the same spirit? walked we not in the same steps?
(2 Corinthians 12:18). Mentoring that models a ministry lifestyle produces
Dr. Bill Phillips, a regional leader for over 300 missionaries, offered this
advice about ways to produce new spiritual leadership: You are 100
percent correct regarding the need for building leadership and the place that
mentor/modeling has in the accomplishment of this task. Our seminaries and
Bible Schools neither turn out the
of needed leadership and often times they fail to turn out the
for ministry. Academics are not the answer to kingdom leadership, although
academics are not the failure of kingdom leadership. The real failure, as you
constantly teach, is in having no mentor or model from which to experience the
truths of God's Word.
As iron sharpens iron; so one man sharpens another
(Proverbs 27:17, NIV).
What would be an easily reproducible, core curriculum to teach and model, if
you desired to develop spiritual leadership? Remember, if we can't give people
the time frame of Jesus (14-16 hours a day for three years), having 12 people
in a group doesn't cut it. So, shave the number, while intensifying the
relationships and experiences together. Have you modeled, then taught these
basics personally to another, or in a small group?
How to have a daily devotional time: methods of Scripture memory, Bible study
Attitude development through believing and claiming the promises of God.
Reproducible, simple witnessing tools, including how to share your testimony.
The ministry of the Holy Spirit: how to be filled with the Spirit, and walk in
victory over sin.
Discerning the will of God and getting guidance.
The ministry of nurture and discipling/mentoring. How to assimilate new Christians.
Who does the teaching? The pastor follows his supreme model, Jesus, and is a
pacesetter to model these areas. He follows Christ in training a small
accountability group of men in the above basics. Each person needs to have
one-with-one time weekly and be with him in witnessing and
ministry. God's Spirit will lead them to train others (Mark 3:14).
You don't have time, you say? The pressures on a church leader dramatically
decrease as new generations of leaders are trained. Here's one time-saving
approach: I met with one man early on Tuesday morning. That evening the two of
us went out witnessing with another man. After witnessing, discussing the
experience, and prayer together, the first man went home. Then, I took the
other man out to eat and he and I went over the
I'd also done with the first man earlier that day. (For help I suggest my
Living God's Word,
for entry level or family times.
The Power Of A Mentor
illustrates why and how to mentor well.) This produced reproducers who, in
turn, touched dozens who became church leaders or were called into the
pastorate and mission fields. We will fill the ranks of the called
if we offer an additional track of leadership training.
Take This With You
Who's the person
Pray and believe God for one pastor and one missionary to be called out
from your church. Through Southern Baptists alone, it could produce 39,000 new
potential missionaries and 39,000 new pastor candidates!