This post is Part 2 of our The Call to Lead series. You can find Part 1 here.
Over the past couple of months, the staff and elders have been going through the book, Designed to Lead, by Eric Geiger and Kevin Peck. We have been talking and brainstorming lots about developing leaders within our church; for our church and for our city. We have been creating leadership development "pipelines" for each of our ministry areas.
Todd Adkins, in reference to leadership development, says "a critical part of leadership is recognizing that your fruit grows on other people's trees." We hold this true, but we're not talking about harvesting where you haven't planted or some kind of winner-takes-all leadership model. I am talking about a style of leadership reproduction as the primary way to cultivate multiplication.
Every role in leadership is a temporary role, and every leader is not successful until they have developed at least one successor. In the Great Commission, Jesus calls us to "make disciples," not just to grow and develop ourselves. Paul also challenges church leaders not to do all the ministry themselves but to train and “equip the saints for the work of the ministry" (Eph. 4:12). Far too often in our society and sometimes in our churches, leadership is seen more as a position of power than a position of responsibility. Development takes time and effort. It must occur up close. Jesus rarely did the work of the ministry by Himself. Sure, He spent time alone, but when He ministered to people, His disciples were always nearby. He even gave them responsibility and space to lead. He shared responsibility.
Our "pipeline" for each ministry at New City looks like this:
Why Do MC's Need a Pipeline?
By God's grace, New City is growing! This is great news. We have welcomed so many new people into our family this summer (a time of the year that is slow for most churches). Most of our MC's are exploding in size; many of which have 30-40 people attending their gatherings each week. The intended size for an MC is 12-15 adults with room to welcome in outsiders. Long story short: we need to plant more MC's. To plant more MC's we need more leaders.
Where Do We Go From Here?
As an MC leader, it is easy to take on the most responsibility and do everything yourself. This is painful and counterintuitive for everyone involved. We need to constantly be training and equipping others to lead and progress in their giftings. This requires us relinquishing control and stepping into life-on-life discipleship.
Our "pipeline" for Missional Communities is a plan of action for developing everyone into the person God has designed them to be. It is a plan to help everyone live their lives fully in light of the gospel. Our Missional Community pipeline looks like this:
This will look different for every person and not everyone will go through every level of the pipeline. We are simply wanting to create a model and plan to help us equip and develop everyone at New City into all God has created them to be. There is overlap in some of these pipeline levels; for example, an MC Host (Lead Servant) doesn't have to be equipped to facilitate sermon discussion time to host an MC gathering, but they certainly could be. So, don't feel limited within these categories. This is simply a way to streamline leadership development.
Implementing Pipelines and Leadership Development
The defining legacy of any leader is the quality of those you develop and your ability to transition out of your role -- at any time and for any reason. Whether sacred or secular, organizational leadership matters. We are called to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. If we do so, we will see unity in the body (Philippians 2), maturity measured in the fullness of Christ (Colossians 2) and a multiplication of disciples making disciples (Matt. 28:18-20) that hasn't been seen since the early church.
If you have any questions, please reach out to me and I will be happy to answer any questions or provide any help that I can.