Leaders look for ways and opportunities to expand their influence.  Effort and focus is given to sharpening skills and increasing capabilities.  That does not mean “climbing the ladder” or continually looking for a bigger church or a larger ministry.  It is not about managing people because most people do not want to be managed, they want to be led.  Leaders manage their lives well which enables them to lead others well.  The lack of leadership development is one of the most limiting factors in churches today.  Everyone is crying out, “We need more leaders!”

Leaders must multiply other leaders.  The path to leadership reproduction can only begin if the leader is credible.  People listen to a leader not because of what they know or what they have done in the past but because of what they are doing now!  There are those who talk about what leaders should do and some have written on what leaders should do but real leaders are doing it!  The “doers” and the “talkers” can sound very similar but the deeper you look the differences become glaringly apparent.  There is a discipline to passing the baton and a leader must first be a “doer” and not just a “talker.”  You cannot lead what you do not live!

Leaders must multiply if they want their churches to reach their full potential.  In the national research project FACT 2008 it is stated that the leadership in the healthiest churches spent the most time recruiting and training other leaders.  Leaders equip, empower, and release others to be and do what God intended.  That means passing on what you know and what you do to someone else.  J. Oswald Sanders said, “Fatigue is a price of leadership and mediocrity is the result of never getting tired.”  Leaders realize that they are never wasting their time by investing their energies into leadership development.

There are three necessary ingredients to multiplying leaders:

The first is intentionality!

Are you regularly, intentionally, and systematically investing into the lives of the next generation of leaders?  There is a discipline to passing the baton and leaders have decided that this process is worth every effort they can make.  The best metric of a church’s health is whether the congregation is learning to reproduce themselves and they must be lead in this endeavor.  How much time are you spending intentionally pouring into other potential leaders?  A mentor is someone who has been where you want to go and is willing to help you get there!

The second necessary ingredient is faith!

True leadership is about building up and equipping more leaders not being satisfied with a few more followers.  As the leader gives the follower more responsibility (Luke 16:10) he then trusts God to complete the work in the apprentice the same way He did in them.  No one is ever 100% ready but you must let them go!  Jesus gave the disciples responsibilities and then walked with them as they carried them out.  Sure they were slow to pick it up at first but soon He turned everything over to their leadership.  In Leadership Coaching Tony Stoltzfus says, “Giving responsibility to others instead of taking responsibility for them is a key to developing leaders.”

The third ingredient is relationships!

The transformation from a follower to a leader usually does not come through classes, seminars, or books but through significant relationships such as Jesus and the disciples, Barnabas and Saul, and Paul and Timothy.  It is not fair nor is it right to give someone responsibility and not give them the authority to oversee what they are responsible for.  If they are responsible for something then they should have the authority to make decisions in that area.  Responsibility and authority go hand in hand and if we have been intentional in their development we will have to trust them and release them to serve or they will forever remain as followers!

Leadership reproduction is a great metric to determine the health of your church.  No pastor is gifted or skilled enough to reach their city or community for Christ alone.  His calling is to mobilize the entire congregation to engage people in their spheres of influence.  The mission of the church is to equip, empower, and release the body of Christ to function to its fullest capacity.  The key is not the size of your church but your readiness to invest in leadership multiplication.  Every movement starts with one!

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