Six Principles for Raising Up New Leaders in Your Church

There’s always a bit of risk involved in handing off ministry batons of various sorts. In everything from equipping and launching guys to take over Sunday gathering set-up, to music, to home groups, and evangelism, no baton-passing is hazard-free. That’s part of the ministry. We’re all fallen. People have various learning and sanctification curves.

I still chuckle when I think of Jesus sitting around with the hazardous 12, handing them the baton to light the world afire. I chuckle even more when I think of the posse of faithful men who risked much in progressively entrusting me with various ministry and disciple-making privileges.

But baton passing is the mandate. When the Apostolic torch was put out in God’s providence, Paul exhorted Timothy and Titus to give themselves towards raise up men, even if it meant risk (2 Tim 2:2, Titus 1:5). Needs are too great for ministry hoarding. Entrusting is part of the leadership call and one which requires a diligence both in equipping and trust in the Church-Builder

Especially in newer ministries, it can be tricky to discover and develop people for the task. One the one hand, young pastors and church-planters, for example, are pretty much in persistent panic mode because of the needs relative to guys available. On the other, he mustn’t panic by slipping into the pragmatic ole Baptist mode of, “Rescued from drowning one day and coast guard, the next,” nor setting rigid time limits within which a leader must be launched.

You may be a ways out from ordaining elders, but your ministry still needs some sort of grid to recognize and launch godly leaders along the way, whether they pursue eldership or not. The local church needs budding Nehemiah’s and Timothy’s as it’s backbone and strength. I think one of the major reasons for church-plant failures and unhealthy local churches is due to a failure to intentionally raise up and launch men at various points in their spiritual growth specifically for leadership, and not exclusively for eldership.

Here are six principles that have helped our fledgling ministry move towards that balance while raising up and launching those men as God provides. And we have found these helpful from everything to equipping those faithful few for overseeing unglamorous Sunday set-up and tear down ministries, to shepherding home groups, and between.

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Eric Davis

Eric Davis

Eric is the pastor of Cornerstone Church in Jackson Hole, WY. He and his team planted the church in 2008.

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What say you? Leave a comment!

Forgiven Cheater — 09/01/15 10:21 am's actually not fixed. :-/ both pages are still the first page. The words of the article are unchanging even though the link at the top reflects page 2.

Forgiven Cheater — 09/01/15 10:18 am

Thanks for fixing it!

VRcurator — 09/01/15 6:30 am

Thanks - that link has been repaired.

Forgiven Cheater — 08/29/15 11:55 pm

The link just takes you back to this first page. Even when you click "page 2," it goes right back to the first page of the article.

VRcurator — 10/27/14 10:32 am

Ken, Thanks for contacting us! There is no PDF connected to this post; however, here is the URL for Page 2, containing the list: If that doesn't work let me know.

Ken Willard — 10/27/14 10:03 am

I'd love to see the six principles. Cannot seem to get to page two. The PDF only shows page one also. Ken Willard

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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you Ed for sharing your insights into the Church Growth Movement. I have my reservations with Church Growth models because it has done more damage than good in the Body of Christ. Over the years, western churches are more focused on results, formulas and processes with little or no emphasis on membership and church discipline. Pastors and vocational leaders are burnt out because they're overworked. I do believe that the Church Growth model is a catalyst to two destructive groups: The New Apostolic Reformation and the Emerging Church. Both groups overlap and have a very loose definition. They're both focus on contemporary worship, expansion of church brand (franchising), and mobilizing volunteering members as 'leaders' to grow their ministry. Little focus on biblical study, apologetics and genuine missional work with no agenda besides preaching of the gospel.
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comment_post_ID); ?> Thank you for sharing such a good article. It is a great lesson I learned from this article. I am one of the leaders in Emmanuel united church of Ethiopia (A denomination with more-than 780 local churches through out the country). I am preparing a presentation on succession planning for local church leaders. It will help me for preparation If you send me more resources and recommend me books to read on the topic. I hope we may collaborate in advancing leadership capacity of our church. God Bless You and Your Ministry.
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