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); ?> 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.
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comment_post_ID); ?> "While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
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