As we seek to reach the lost, it might seem odd to focus on developing them as leaders while we are still trying to win them to Christ.
But we must focus on leadership development from the very beginning of seeking to reach the lost. That’s because while we are seeking to reach them, we are also modeling how to reach others.
We can start a disciple-making movement through evangelism and discipleship. But we cannot sustain that impact without qualified leaders. Sustainable disciple-making moves at the speed of leadership development.
But qualified leaders aren’t easy to find. Many of the leaders in our local churches are already stretched thin. So we’re going to have to find these leaders for the harvest, in the harvest.
How do you find today the leaders for tomorrow who, just yesterday, were lost without Christ?
We can start a disciple-making movement through evangelism and discipleship. But we cannot sustain that impact without qualified leaders.
Here are six things we can prayerfully look for in potential leaders.
- They follow Jesus.
Whom they follow is the most important indicator of how they’ll lead.
- They respond to opportunities to serve.
Potential leaders are willing to try. Give them opportunity, support and constructive feedback.
- They receive what you share.
They’re eager to learn. They want to grow in the faith.
- They share what they receive.
They share the good news with others. They disciple new believers.
- They grow in their knowledge of the gospel.
The gospel is the key to interpreting and applying the Bible. Nothing keeps a potential leader away from the perils of bad doctrine better than a good understanding of the gospel.
- They display Christ-like character.
This is perhaps the most important qualification of a leader. Paul’s list of qualifications for pastors and deacons deals more with character than skill or education.
In John 4:35, Jesus said, “Open your eyes and look at the fields, for they are ready for harvest.” (CSB). As you do, watch for potential leaders.