“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” Ephesians 4:11-12 (NIV).
How do you go from a starting core group of four people to a congregation of 700 people and not be worn out as a leader in a church plant? Eddy Alemán, RCA director of strategic leadership development and coordinator of Hispanic ministries, has done just that. Now he is sharing his experience with other pastors and planters through a leadership development learning community. The learning community will meet four to five times over the course of 18 months to learn about leadership development.
The process of leadership development begins with raising up new leaders. Planters and pastors need to spend nearly 80 percent of their time developing leaders. Recognizing individuals as leaders before they even see it in themselves will build an environment of empowerment.
So, how can you develop leaders within your church?
- Discipleship is the foundation of all leadership; take six months to focus on discipleship. (Eddy and his team used the book, Discipleship Essentials: A Guide to Building Your Life in Christ, by Greg Ogden.)
- During the following six months, have aspiring leaders read the whole New Testament, learning about service and spiritual gifts, and seeing how Jesus lives.
- Give leaders a spiritual gifts test, and place them in positions where their gifts will be used. This helps empower the leaders.
- After the year of discipleship and Bible study, devote one year to character formation. Have leaders write about their personal stories, callings, and philosophies of ministry.
Questions to ask yourself when evaluating your church leadership:
- What could you do to strengthen your leadership?
- What are you already doing that is fostering strong leadership?
Establishing a structure of raising up leaders feeds the growth of a congregation. Learn more about this development plan by contacting Eddy Alemán.