Don’t Let Fear Sabotage the Development of Your Ministry Leaders

What would happen if the Christ Centered leaders in your church began to pour into and develop new leaders?  The impact on your church and community could be massive.

You can’t argue with the power of multiplication.  It just makes sense.  We’ve all heard the mathematical logic for the development of leaders.  For example:  If one leader develops two new leaders over the next six months, then those two leaders join the first one in developing two leaders each over the next six months, you suddenly have 9 leaders.  If this continues for just one more year you end up with over 80 leaders in two years!  Imagine the possibilities of what might happen with 80 new leaders!

Yes that’s exciting.  Yes that makes sense. But why isn’t it happening?  Because we allow fear to out reason logic.  While leaders give many excuses I believe the one overriding reason they don’t develop others is fear.  Most leaders are so focused on growing themselves that they don’t feel adequate to develop others.

The truth is we can be hard on ourselves.  Our fear is nurtured by our leadership weaknesses, imperfections, and inadequacies.  We’re painfully aware of our leadership mistakes and failures.  So consciously or subconsciously we question: What qualifies me to teach someone else to lead?  How can I answer others questions when I have so many questions of my own?  How will they respect me once they see my weakness?  What if I don’t know what I’m doing? What if I fail them? What if I steer them wrong?  What if they know more than me?  A million questions can run through our minds.  And even though we know the math makes sense…fear out reasons logic so we avoid developing leaders.

The best leader developers I know acknowledge their weaknesses.  They use their failures and mistakes as teachable moments and a tool for others to learn from.  Great developers recognize that ultimately it’s not about their strength it’s about their surrender to the Holy Spirit to be used to help others along the leadership journey.  If you wait until you’re the perfect leader then you’ll never take the first step toward developing others.  But if you trust what you have, what you’ve learned and who you are to be used by the Holy Spirit then He can use you to start a leadership development revolution.

So replace the fear driven questions with faith driven questions:  What if I took a chance on ____________ (you fill in the name)?  What if I spent the next six months pouring into two new reproducing leaders?  What if I allowed a couple of potential leaders to take some of my responsibility?  What if I invited a couple of young leaders to shadow me throughout my week?  What if I faced my fear and started developing leaders instead of just doing the ministry myself?  What if I embraced Paul’s mentality when he said, “imitate me as I imitate Christ.” What if I trusted the Holy Spirit to use my experience and my gifts to pour into the lives of others?

Imagine the possibilities.  Sometimes it’s not logic that helps us outwit fear…it’s allowing ourselves to imagine a better future.   Imagine what could be and determine to take a risk starting today.

What are your next steps to start a leadership development revolution in your organization?  

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Mac Lake

Mac Lake

Mac is a pioneering influence in the church planting movement. In 1997, he planted Carolina Forest Community Church (Myrtle Beach, South Carolina). In 2004, he began serving as Leadership Development Pastor at Seacoast Church (Charleston, South Carolina) where he served for over six years. In July 2010, Mac Lake joined with West Ridge Church to become the Visionary Architect for the LAUNCH Network. In 2015 Mac begin working with Will Mancini and Auxano to develop the Leadership Pipeline process. He joined Auxano full time in 2018. Mac and his wife, Cindy, live in Charleston, South Carolina and have three children, Brandon, Jordan and Brianna.

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What say you? Leave a comment!

Jon Pyle — 03/24/14 11:52 am

What would you say about performance-based fear? Like "I'm afraid to take time to invest because so much needs to be done on a high level?" I'm somewhat familiar with Mac's writing, so I've read that he encourages to always take another leader along, etc. I totally agree with the principle. But speaking practically (and as transparently as I can), I struggle with managing the tension of performance and development. Particularly at the start, when starting a leadership development process. Thoughts? Insights?

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comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
— Russ Wright
comment_post_ID); ?> "While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
— Ken

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