The traditional small to medium church stays that way because the pastor either will not or does not know how to delegate and empower the members of the church to use their spiritual gifts. For a pastor to grow a church beyond a small congregation, it is imperative he learn to delegate and empower the people. He must encourage church members to get out of the boat, into the storms, and begin walking by faith and using their gifts in communications and ministering. It does no church or the kingdom of God any good when its pastors refuse to share their leadership function with the laity. The more centers of leadership you find in a church, the stronger it will become.
The more church members feel free to suggest new ways of accomplishing evangelism and mission and know they will be heard and evaluated, the stronger the mission activity of the church will become.
One of the challenges in evangelism is how the laity will be empowered to be on mission in their vocational, institutional and public roles. The question is not whether a church member will teach a Sunday school class, lead a Boy Scout troop, or coach a Little League ball club. The real question is “how will they be empowered to live out the gospel in education, government, business, industry, or the media?” More and more church members go to work on Monday morning and never think about their influence for the gospel. They have never been empowered and encouraged to make ethical and moral decisions that will impact a community, a city, or even the world.
One of the challenges a leader faces is how to move away from the idea of surrounding himself with loyal people who never question or threaten. Instead, he must surrounds himself with people who will challenge him and question him, not in a threatening way, but in a way that encourages growth.
The pastor needs to make it possible for every church member to take responsibility for meeting whatever situation might arise. When this kind of empowerment occurs, then there is little resistance to change and innovation in the life of the church, because the members are deeply involved. Further, when they are in the marketplace, they will also take responsibility for living out and making decisions that will be positive for the kingdom of God.
Simon Peter refused to remain sunk in the water. He refocused on Jesus as he sank in the sea and cried out to be saved. Jesus rescued him even though He knew Peter would fail again, recover, and fail again. Eventually Peter became the “little rock” whom Jesus used to build His church. Leaders in growing churches must persevere no matter how many failures are fostered by fear. The future needs solid rocks, not sunken stones.
Leaders of tomorrow will be called of God, growing in relationship with Him, compassionate and passionate for others. They will be visionary, communicating leaders who are entrepreneurial, contextual, planners, and lifelong learners who delegate and empower the laity for mission.
- A Leader Must Have a Profound Sense of God’s Call
- A Leader Must Grow in Their Relationship with God
- A Leader Must Be Compassionate
- A Leader Must Be Passionate
- A Leader Must Be Visionary
- A Leader Must Become Entrepreneurial
- A Leader Must Be Contextual
- A Leader Must Be a Planner
- A Leader Must Be a Lifelong Learner
- A Leader Must Be a Delegator and Empowerer of Others