Yesterday I talked about the power of observation in developing leaders. Today I want to talk about the power of opportunity in seeing leaders become everything they can be. We see this at work in how Jesus trained the 12.
"By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.” But he answered, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?” “How many loaves do you have?” he asked. “Go and see.” When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.” Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand." (Mark 6:35-44)
The story is called, "Jesus feeds the 5,000", but the disciples were the ones who actually gave the people bread. Obviously, without Jesus there would still only be 5 loaves and 2 fish. But Jesus gave the disciples a role to play in this miracle. He gave them opportunity to minister to these hungry people.
As leaders, it's easy to be a spiritual "ball hog". Where we're the only ones who can teach, counsel, pray or make decisions. However, for a church to be healthy and raise up godly, effective leaders, we need to get out of the way and give up and coming leaders opportunities to lead.
I believe this is the scariest part of developing leaders. Because we know they're going to make mistakes. We know they aren't going to do "exactly" like us. At first, there may even be some resistance from the congregation because someone else is doing something the Senior Pastor or another Pastor has done. But if you want to expand your ability to reach people, it must be done. If you want to train people from infancy in Christ to maturity, it must be done.
In the end, you'll be healthier; your church will be healthier; and your leaders will be healthier.
For a complete resource on how we develop leaders at Calvary, check out our brand new resource,"The Leadership Pipeline: Developing great leaders at every level". Click here for the CD version orhere for the mp3 download version.