Developing Leaders

This is such an important session and so much is at stake.  If we aren’t training up the next season of leaders…the Church ends with us.

Great leaders always take people with them.

2 tim 2:1-2. “You therefore, my [a]son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

With these words, Paul presses home a leader’s responsibility to train others to lead.  The same is true around the world as it is in America, “The missionary of today (we are all missionaries) should be less of a performer, and more of a trainer.”  This statement highlights one of the great needs in current mission strategies….Training leaders.

Paul showed the same concern when training Timothy.  Timothy had a timid nature, but Paul didn’t hesitate to put him in positions that were beyond his abilities.  How else can someone develop competence and confidence if not by stretching them toward the impossible?


Taking people with us includes our relationships with our group members.  John Maxwell often teaches, “The leaders job is to connect with the people they lead.”  In an ideal world, that’s the way it should be.  The quality of the relationships we have with people in our groups will impact it’s success or failure.

1. Cast vision for leadership 

Leading together = ownership

“He (Moses) chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people…They served as judges for the people at all times.  The difficult cases they brought to Moses.” Exodus 18:25-26

“A one-man show can never grow larger than the load one person can carry.” It’s important for us to define roles within each LifeGroup and delegate within each group.

2. Identify apprentice 

1. Look around – Who is taking ownership? Who is going out of their way to make people feel welcomed?

2. Examine the relationship – Evaluate the relational chemistry they have with other group members.

3. Don’t be too picky…lead them up.  80% rule.  If they can do 80% as good as I can…let them.  then lead them the remaining 20%.

3. Give them incremental opportunities for leadership

A. Shadow the leader and discuss

The best process I know is to prepare you for leadership begins with “doing it myself”  (I can’t give you what I don’t possess myself.) and have you shadow… I explain what I’m doing.  I encourage you to ask questions.  I want you to see and understand everything I’m doing.

B. Give them the opportunity.

You can only learn so much from watching.  At some point you have to jump in and actually try it.  When they reach this stage, it’s the leaders job to encourage, gently correct, and redirect as needed.

Note: There is a clear difference between equipping and developing people. When you equip people, you teach them how to do a job.  When you develop people, you are helping them improve as individuals.

Developing people pays higher dividends than equipping because it helps the whole person and lifts him to a higher level.  It’s a long term process.

C. Release them into leadership

As soon as you have the fundamentals down, I step back and give you some room to develop your own style and methods.

4. Multiply

The last part of the developmental process is to help you find someone to develop and encourage you to get started.  There’s an old saying, “You never really know something until you teach it to someone else.”  The process isn’t really complete unless you pass on what you’ve received to someone else…and keep on passing.


As we dedicate ourselves to the development of people and commit to it as a long-term process, we will notice a change in our relationships and the overall culture at Castle Hills. No work is more rewarding to a missionary, than developing leaders.

When we continually develop people, there will never be a shortage of leaders prepared for a growing ministry.

“Disciples are not manufactured wholesale.  They are produced one by one, because someone has taken the pains to discipline, instruct, nurture, and train one that is younger.” -Douglas Thornton