In my last post, "A New Paradigm for Leadership Development" I began talking about the fact that that leadership development in the local church is a matter of stewardship - it's about equipping and releasing well the people that God has already put in your church. But if we are to begin to develop a culture of developing leaders it will take a series of shifts in our paradigm.
It takes a shift of focus from problem people to possibility people.
I’m not being mean or trying to label people, but let’s face it, in the life of church ministry we work with broken and hurting people, many of whom need a great deal of care, encouragement and support. If I allowed it, my schedule could easily be filled with the important ministry of care and counseling. The old adage rings true, that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and in ministry the people with the most needs can get the lion share of our time. Pastoral care needs to happen in the life of the church but if you are the key leader you have to intentionally guard time to meet with what I call your possibility people. Possibility people are not usually the ones who cry out for your attention. They sometimes fly beneath the radar. That’s precisely why you need to make the effort to connect with them. Possibility people are those, who with some investment and equipping might become excellent leaders in your church and perhaps beyond your church. There’s no easy answer as to how much time you should devote to possibility people, but imagine what your ministry would look like if you spent at least as much time investing in potential future leaders as you did in helping people with their problems. Both are important, but consider this, while there are others in the church who can help people with their problems, if you are a Pastor or Overseer, developing a culture of investing in future leaders has to start with you.
Reflect: What percentage of your people ministry time do you spend with possibility people?