Nearly every pastor of an evangelical church looks for ways to “make disciples”. It is one thing to have a mission statement that declares “discipleship” as the means of growing the church; the “how” of discipleship is much more complicated.
Some churches establish very detailed classroom environments with set days of the week where they share plenty of scripture and often times a component of teaching. Perhaps the participants interact around that scripture as well. However, some of the most effective churches in “making disciples” (based on the level of participation in all areas of the church’s life) have embraced the model where almost everything happens in a small group….
Leaders cannot rise above the limitations of their character. And yet, while a leadership position doesn’t give a person character, character can give him a leadership position. How a leader deals with the circumstances of life tells you many things about his character. Crisis doesn’t necessarily mold character, but is certainly does reveal it. Adversity is a crossroads that makes a person choose one of two paths: character or compromise. It takes real courage to have character. Every time a leader chooses character, he becomes stronger, even if that choice brings negative consequences. The development of character is at the heart of our development as leaders. Character is the foundation on which a leader builds his or her life. It all begins with character, because leadership operates on the basis of trust. People will follow a leader only so far as they trust him or her….
Leaders Influence People. Great leaders don’t just influence people to follow them; they create more leaders who influence others. When you are leading people, you can affect their ultimate path. They follow your leadership and accomplish goals or reach destinations they wouldn’t have achieved on their own. When those goals or destinations are reached, you can say that you’ve done a good job as a leader. The problem is that everyone has a limit to how many people they can lead effectively. However, when you stop creating followers under your leadership and start creating or developing leaders, the number of people you can influence will grow exponentially.
Every church leader wants to see his or her congregation grow. Spreading the Gospel to all people is what we are called to do. Jesus said to “go and make disciples”. If all a church leader does is make disciples, it won’t be long before he finds the limit of how many disciples he can care for on his own. At that point, there are only a couple of options. A leader can either hire someone to share the load or he can learn to make disciple-makers instead of just making disciples. Churches don’t grow because the Senior Pastor is a great preacher or the worship experience is phenomenal. Churches grow because they are actively making disciple-makers….