Both local churches and church planting movements, like Victory Churches, must be able to train up new leaders and attract other leaders who are already trained. If there are no new leaders a movement will eventually stop moving and begin to die.
It took Jesus three years to find and develop 120 leaders. We may not be able to do it any quicker, but we can certainly fast-track some. Remember that those closest to you will also determine your own level of success.
How can we create the kind of atmosphere that attracts leaders? What are leaders and potential leaders looking for? They will be attracted to you if:
- You have a big vision. Big vision attracts, builds, and releases big leaders. President De Gaulle said to Winston Churchill, “If you do big things you will attract big people; if you do little things, you’ll attract little people and little people will cause you lots of problems.” Leaders will ask themselves, “Is there room enough in this church and this movement for my calling and giftings?” Give your people a challenge that will stretch them. “Attempt great things for God, expect great things from God” (William Carey).
- There is opportunity for promotion if they perform well. It’s important to have small groups and new church plants because they give leaders the opportunity to apply their leadership skills. They can grow from being a leader of 5’s, to 10’s, 50’s, 100’s, and 1000’s according to the Exodus 18 Principle. It’s important to have a list of potential leaders and a list of potential positions always in mind. A well-designed flow chart can help make this visible to others. As you pray over these lists and give thought to both the people and the positions, you’ll be amazed how God will reveal where people fit best. Maximum fit equals minimum stress.
- They believe they can learn from you and grow under your ministry. (Matt 4:19). All leaders want to grow. It’s hard to sit under someone who is a poor leader, or someone who has stopped growing and fallen behind you in their development. You must keep growing yourself. As you keep growing, the kind of leaders you will attract will get better. Make sure, when they do come, that you’re not threatened or intimidated by them.
- They see an environment that is challenging, creative, and flexible, along with order and good leadership. Don’t be afraid to ask leaders for commitment. If you do, you’ll lose people; and if you don’t, you’ll lose people. It all depends on which group you want to keep and which group you want to lose. If you ask for commitment, you’ll keep the winners and lose the whiners. The choice is yours - choose life!
In 2 Kings 4, the miracle of multiplication never stopped until they had no more empty pots to pour into. Gather as many potential leaders as you can and keep pouring into them. Keep winning souls and making disciples. As soul winning flows from relationship, leadership flows from discipleship.
A Chinese proverb says, “If your vision is for a year, plant wheat. If your vision is for ten years, plant trees. If your vision is for a lifetime, plant people.” And I could add: If your vision is for eternity, plant churches and grow leaders who impact eternity! (Ecc. 3:11)
Yours for a vision that goes far beyond this life!
Dr. George Hill
President and Founder, Victory Churches International