Learn to make the hand-off.
Try to do for the next generation of church leaders what the previous generation of church leaders has not done for you. We need to hand off the local church in better condition than it was handed to us. Jesus is the hope of the world and the local church is the vehicle of expressing that hope to the world. Every generation of the church has a new opportunity to bring that message in fresh and relevant ways. Luke 5 - How did Matthew get to be one of Jesus' disciples? Jesus selected him. How did the other 11 get to be Jesus' disciples? Jesus selected them. How would you have felt if you would have not been selected? Most of us would have thought that wasn't fair. •Fairness ended at the garden of Eden. Our current generation of leaders, if we are not careful, will make the same mistakes that the previous generation of church leaders have made.
Our single focused strategy for developing leaders at North Point Church was to do intentional apprenticing. Apprenticing - selecting, modeling, and coaching for the purpose of replacing yourself. We have the most trouble with the word "selecting." Was Jesus fair? No. Was He intentional? Yes. Even among those He chose there was a subcategory of 3. It didn't seem to bother Him. For 3 years He so ingrained Himself in those 12 that they carried on without Him.
Make Disciples of Christ.
A disciple is a learner. What was Jesus' approach to apprenticeship?
1- Jesus began with succession in mind. Jesus was the most irreplaceable person of all time. He started out selecting those He was going to pour his life and time into. We wait too long to do that.
2- He handpicked those to whom he would entrust his mission. He didn't ask for volunteers. We think in terms of classes and volunteers; Jesus didn't. We are all about fairness and who shows up; Jesus was intentional about who
He selected. Have the courage to choose whom you will invest in.
3 - He rarely did ministry alone.
4- He gave His disciples opportunity to do ministry alone while He was still around to debrief. Luke 9 - He sent the disciples out... they came back and reported to Him what happened. Jesus decided to stay around to see what would happen without him. Eventually somebody else is going to be doing our job. Will you be there to see it done without you? Most people don't plan to be around to see someone else do it without us. If Jesus was willing to do that, so should we.
Churches almost always ignore this principle.
We are too busy, insecure and intimidated to apprentice. We totally miss this. We get to the place that nobody will listen or nobody will take this seriously. We fail to engage in apprenticing in an intentional way. We do a lot of training but we fail to apprentice. There's a difference. This isn't about succession. This is about being intentional about pouring into the leaders that are coming behind you.
notes by timschraeder.com.
Mentor as Jesus did. He intentionally trained his disciples to carry on His ministry. Your successors may not be in your area of ministry or share your interests, but it is your responsibility as a Christian leader to teach them. We need to pour into them, not because they may someday have our job, but because someday they will carry that same responsibility of carrying the Gospel to the world.