Raising up another generation of leaders includes winning new converts to Christ, discipling people, and leading and teaching by both word and example. However, a good leader should also make specific effort to invest time in those who show leadership potential.
RAISING UP CHURCH LEADERS
Partnership in leading involves the biblical principle of sowing and reaping (2Cor 9:6). When we sow bountifully of our time into training other leaders, we will reap bountifully in the fruits of ministry (which are more people saved, churches planted, disciples matured, needs met, etc.).
Paul explained this to young Timothy: “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2Tim 2:2).
Paul’s principle of training others will lead to the Gospel spreading much more quickly.
Paul addressed four groups of people. First, there was Paul himself. Second, there was Timothy, Paul’s disciple. Third, there were the “faithful men”. Fourth, there were the “others” who would be taught by the faithful men. Paul’s investment of time and teaching into just one life, Timothy, would have a far-reaching impact on many, many people!
There are also other methods for training leaders. Jesus took twelve men and spent more than three years teaching them and working with them. They watched Him pray, minister and teach almost daily. He taught them principles, then sent them out to put those principles into practice. If they failed, He would instruct them (read Luke 10). Those twelve disciples were well trained. Then, through the power of the Holy Spirit, they changed their world and the entire course of history!
Other leaders have had great success in setting up Bible training institutes, where many students at one time can learn from several instructors. In order to be effective, this method must use the Bible as its main study book. It must also include “hands on” training, which allows the student to actually do the work of ministry as they are learning about it.
No matter the method, it is clear that the biblical pattern for effective, lasting ministry must include the training of new leadership!
WHAT DO I HAVE TO SAY?
You may feel that you have nothing significant to teach other potential leaders. In one way, this is true of every leader. Men have nothing of eternal value in their own wisdom to teach to others. However, God still wants to use us to teach others from His deep wells of wisdom.
God will give you insight and understanding as you seek Him and study His Word. He will help you to know what you should teach to others. God will pour His wisdom and life into you, for you to then pour into others.
God will also use your understanding of Him, your ministry experience, your education, your knowledge of the Bible – all of this will help you to train those whom God gives you. You may have access to good training materials, such as ACTS Magazine or The Shepherd’s Staff.