You Gotta See the Houses in the Forest

A dear pastor friend and I were talking over lunch one day. He was having trouble finding quality leaders in his church and he seemed on the verge of burnout from undertaking many of the ministry responsibilities himself.

“If I had a bigger church,” he observed, “there would be more leaders to choose from. But right now there just aren’t any!”

“Sure there are,” I replied “You just have to see them.”

“No,” he countered. “You have leaders because you have a large church. Mine is small, so I don’t have any leaders.”

I pushed back, admittedly with a slight tone of frustration in my voice: “When you look at a forest, what do you see?”

“Elementary, Watson,” he quipped. “Trees!”

“That’s your problem,” I replied. “All you see are trees.” I could tell that he wasn’t quite tracking with me. “Let meexplain,” I continued. “When I look at a forest, I see houses. I see beautiful dressers, rocking chairs, bed frames, cabinets and desks. They’re all in the forest, and they’re beautiful.

From the look on his face, I could see that he was beginning to question the benefit of our having lunch together. I could almost read his thoughts: Your forests in Hawaii must be a lot different from ours, ’cause all we got are trees! Before he could jump to any premature conclusions, I hastened to my point. “No, you won’t find them already completed. But the potential is all there! Sure, you’ll still have to cut and sand and varnish the wood, but it’s all there.

Everything you need to furnish your entire home is in that forest. You just need to see more than trees in order to be motivated to harvest the wood. You have to see their potential. You gotta believe there’s gold in them thar hills if you’re gonna muster up the energy you need to mine it out.” Here’s the absolute truth: When you really believe that leaders are there, you’ll be surprised at how many wonderful leaders start showing up.Wayne Cordiero - You Gotta See the Houses in the Forest - Mentoring Leaders

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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