Building a Leadership Base

You have to make it as easy as possible for those leaders to start showing up. That’s why every healthy church culture works to provide an easy entrance into significant involvement.

Too often, only the well oriented and the veterans know the way. Doing church as a team opens the portals and lowers the threshold. One piece of advice has kept me from many unnecessary pains: “Don’t hire those who can do it well. Hire those who can facilitate others who will do it well.” In other words, hire only those who understand this: “You will have the privilege of doing ministry, but with one stipulation: You have to do it THROUGH another person!”

Some years ago, when we began New Hope, one leader became more and more adept at computers in our office. As we continued to grow, so did our need for increased computer technology and computer maintenance. We had one volunteer who excelled in this area, and we felt so thankful for his expertise— until one day, I realized that if we ever had a problem, we were up a creek without a paddle. And then that day came.

This man began to offer his services to us at a price, but soon the price increased until we found ourselves painted into a corner. No one knew what to do except him. He kept everything a secret, which he felt gave him job security. As soon as I realized what was going on, I gave him a new adventure in the exciting field of job hunting.

From then on, I remained much more vigilance and took pains to make sure that we all understood that none of us is indispensable, including me. We had to have enough trust in Jesus to open the entrance and include others in increasing ways. We instructed our sound ministry to label all the necessary switches on each soundboard so that anyone would know how to turn it on or off.

Cartons get labeled and teams are periodically checked to ensure that the base of those “in the know” is steadily increasing. If you want to find and develop leaders who already come to your church, you have to do something similar. If you maintain a “closed club,” then don’t feel surprised when your exhaustion starts causing you to fall asleep on the job.

Ask yourself, What can I do to open wide our leadership doors? How can I pave the way for an influx of the new leaders we need?

Where can I start to make it easier for people to join us, get on board, and take the reins?

May I make a suggestion? Start with their dreams.

The above is an excerpt from Pastor Wayne Cordeiro’s book, Doing Church as a Team. Throughout February, we’ll be exploring the Biblical mandate for teamwork – and how we as leaders can build thriving teams. 

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