As we head out to our new church in Rancho Cucamonga (you can read a bit about it here), one of my primary concerns for the church is that we have a plurality of qualified leaders. Where the leaders go, the church will follow, and for a congregation to attain a level of health there must be healthy leaders.
How do we find and develop such leaders? I’m sure there are libraries of literature on the topic, both secular and Christian. I’m not sure I can say here what hasn’t been said a hundred times over in other places. But I can say something simple and biblical that we always need to remember: prayer is the primary, first work toward raising up leaders.
The first offensive tactic for raising up leaders is to ask Jesus for them, and patiently wait for him to give them. God said, “Behold, all souls are mine” (Ezek. 18:4). Jesus told his disciples “All authority has been given to me” (Mat. 28:18). He tells us to ask for workers (Mat. 9:38). Jesus holds the heart of a king in his hand, and has the power to turn it heart wherever he wills (Prov. 21:1). As a rich and generous Lord, Jesus loves to give these people to the church (Eph. 4:11).
All potential leaders are Christ’s. He has authority over them. He tells us to ask him for them. He’s generous in providing them. Do we believe this?
If we’re short on solders as we head into battle, we need not be ashamed nor bashful to come boldly into his barracks and ask for more manpower. When we pray this way, we are assuming Jesus is powerful enough and generous enough to provide, and it glorifies him.
Yes let’s have leadership pipelines and training centers. Let’s do men’s Bible studies and workshops. But most of all, and in everything, let’s pray for leaders.
There may be many reasons we don’t have leaders among us. But let it be not because we’ve never asked for them.