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

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> Are there any reliable statistics about the percentage of church plants that fail after 3 years in the US?
— Jon Moore
comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
— Glenna Hendricks
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston

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