Objections to the Christian Faith from the Unchurched and De-Churched
Tue Dec 02, 2014
Craig Groeschel: We Innovate for Jesus
Tue Oct 14, 2014
Mark Driscoll: Revelation
Tue Oct 07, 2014
RESURGENCE LEADERSHIP #034: JOHN PIPER, WHY I TRUST THE SCRIPTURES, PART 2
Tue Sep 30, 2014
Resurgence Leadership #033: John Piper, Why I Trust the Scriptures, Part 1
Tue Sep 23, 2014
How to Replant a Church, Part 8: Identifying & Recruiting Leaders
When replanting a church, there is an overwhelming need for more leaders, but the challenge of how to raise up new leaders can seem impossible. Here’s some advice to help you identify and recruit new leaders.
Recently, I asked my four-year-old son to help clean up his room. He said, “I can’t. I’m too little.” We both know he is more than capable of helping clean his room. So why didn’t he just say, “Yes, daddy,” and do it?
After discussing this with him, I realized that the idea of cleaning his room was overwhelming for him. It seemed like a problem too big for him to solve. He felt he couldn’t do it on his own. He was “too little.”
Doing the impossible
When replanting a church, there is an overwhelming need for more leaders. The challenge of how to raise up new leaders can seem impossible, and it’s common for pastors to feel “too little” to solve the big problem of needing more leaders.
Over the years, I have planted one Mars Hill church and replanted three Mars Hill churches. There have been times and still are times when I feel “too little.” When I started replanting Mars Hill Federal Way, the need for more leaders was overwhelming. We didn’t just need more leaders—we needed to build a culture of leadership and multiplication.
It’s common for pastors to feel “too little” to solve the big problem of needing more leaders.
By God’s grace, we have doubled the leadership of the church two years in a row, and we are on track to double the leadership again in 2014. Here are some of the things I have done to raise up new leaders.
Identify potential leaders
Some pastors have a problem raising up leaders because they are not sure what to look for in a potential leader. Can you describe the type of person who would make a potential leader in your church? Do the other leaders on your team know how to identify a potential leader?
If not, spend some time thinking about the type of person you are looking for in leadership and write a simple, brief description of a potential leader. Then share this description with all your leadership so everyone knows how to identify potential leaders. You need this description because it empowers your leaders to seek other people for leadership. You will not build a culture of leadership and multiplication if you don’t empower your leaders to become leaders of leaders.
I identify a potential leader based on four things:
- First, they must be a Christian. If they are to lead Jesus’ people, they must first know Jesus personally and love him.
- Second, I look for someone who is humble. If they are humble, they will walk with Jesus in a way that others can imitate.
- Third, they need to be teachable. If they are teachable, they can be developed and will grow in maturity and competency.
- Fourth, they need to be friendly. If they are friendly, other people will like them and want to follow them.
Can you describe the type of person who would make a potential leader in your church?
Recruit and qualify potential leaders
I’ve never seen a fish jump out of the water and into a boat without having a hook in its mouth. In the same way, leaders aren’t going to just walk into your office. You are going to have to get off your butt, get out of your office, and go fishing for potential leaders. I follow a three-step process when recruiting potential leaders.
1. Talk to the potential leader to qualify them for leadership
My goal in every encounter and conversation I have with Christians is to prayerfully consider if they are humble, teachable, and friendly. If they are, they are a potential leader. After I get to know them a little better, I can determine if they have leadership gifts, and then I have a more formal recruitment conversation.
You will not build a culture of leadership and multiplication if you don’t empower your leaders to become leaders of leaders.
2. Have a formal leadership conversation
After you qualify someone as a potential leader, have a formal leadership conversation in which you share the vision of the church with them and let them know you see them as a potential leader. Making the conversation formal communicates the seriousness of the privilege of leading and caring for God’s people. It also helps the potential leader understand that you are inviting them to greater responsibility within the church.
I usually structure the conversation around the following topics:
- Ask the person to share their testimony. Even if you have heard their testimony, it’s always good to have them share it again to be reminded of God’s grace in their life.
- Seek to discover their spiritual gifts so you can determine where their gifts would be most fruitful in leadership.
- Invite them to pursue leadership in a specific area with a defined scope. Most Christians are intimidated by the thought of leadership (especially if they have never led in a church), and they need you to help them see clearly what is expected of them.
- Discuss next steps if they are ready to accept the invitation. If they are not ready, ask them to pray about the opportunity and determine a time to have a follow-up conversation. I usually tell people if Jesus can rise from the grave in three days, they should be able to affirm a desire to pursue leadership within three days. End the conversation by praying for them and asking for God’s will in their life.
Spending a little more time identifying and qualifying someone for leadership pays off in two ways. First, it prevents me from having a recruitment conversation with someone who is not ready for leadership. Second, because they are ready, the people I have a formal leadership conversation with accept the invitation to leadership. After someone accepts the invitation to leadership, make sure your next steps include connecting them to an existing leader for development.
3. Follow up within 24 hours with encouragement
After the formal leadership conversation, send an email or text or give a phone call to thank the leader for their time and affirm them in Christ. This sets the tone of encouragement in your leadership culture. Plus, everyone enjoys being loved, valued, and championed.
Next week, we will discuss how to develop, deploy, and support the leaders you have recruited for your church replant.