In a local community, no other gathering of people or institution should outpace the church at forming and developing leaders because no other collection or gathering of people has a greater mission, a greater promise, and a greater reward.
No greater mission
Today, even as you read this, leaders are being recruited. There are meetings taking place over meals and in coffee shops in your community. Potential leaders are being asked to join a company, to give to a cause, or to join the core team of a startup. In each of those meetings, some type of mission is discussed:
Our company is really about this…
You can make a difference by giving to this…
Our startup is going to do this…
If the one doing the inviting is wise, the “this” is a compelling and catalyzing mission, as you can’t have a strong and committed team without a deep sense of mission. But any mission that people are being invited to join pales in comparison to the mission God has given His people. No other group of people has been reconciled to God through Christ and been given the privilege and responsibility to reconcile others to Christ. God’s people are, therefore, His ambassadors, and God makes His appeal to others through us (2 Corinthians 5:20).
No greater promise
No one should outpace the church in developing leaders because no one else has the assurance that their contribution will last, that their leadership will matter eternally. No other gathering of people, no other organization, will stand the test of time. Companies that have been declared successful are no longer in existence. Organizations falter as quickly as they rise.
Organizational theorists plot out the typical life cycles of an organization from birth to growth to maturity to decline to death. The church of the Lord Jesus cannot be plotted on the “organizational life cycle chart.” She cannot be contained. She will stand the test of time. Jesus has and will preserve His church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome her (Matthew 16:18).
No greater reward
There is a great cost to following Jesus, and Jesus never minimized it. He taught the crowds that following Him means dying to ourselves and giving up everything to be His disciple (Luke 14:33). We discover that everything we give up is really nothing compared to the greatness of knowing Christ. The cost is great, but the reward is greater. We get Jesus.
When Peter pointed out to Jesus that he and the other disciples had left everything to follow Him, Jesus responded:
I assure you, there is no one who has left house, brothers or sisters, mother or father, children, or fields because of Me and the gospel, who will not receive 100 times more, now at this time—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and eternal life in the age to come (Mark 10:29-30).
He promises us that the cost of work in His kingdom will be worth it. Not only do we receive blessings and rewards, but He is our ultimate reward. We enjoy the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ.
No other organization should outpace the church in developing leaders.