I am honored to lead the Resources Division at LifeWay and serve with a team of leaders who are passionate to serve the Church in Her mission of making disciples. Each Wednesday, I share the heart behind one of the resources our team has developed and give an opportunity for you to register to win a free copy of the resource. This week’s resource is registration to our Pipeline Conference being held here in Nashville, TN, October 13-14, 2016.
God’s kingdom is advanced through people. Discipling and developing people is His plan A, and there is no plan B. Christians are not just to be disciples but are tasked to make disciples.
Ephesians 2:8-9 reminds us that we have been saved “by grace through faith,” which is a gift of God and not of our works. Verse 10 emphasizes our response to the grace He has given us. We are God’s workmanship, and He has planned things for each and every believer. Because every believer is invited to join God in the mission of advancing His kingdom, the apostle Paul tells church leaders that our role is to equip the people of God.
And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
These verses remind church leaders that our work is the development of God’s people under our care. Nothing is more sacred or more strategic in His kingdom than the responsibility to equip others to serve in ministry. God did not intend for His church to be a community with a gifted pastor and staff members but to be a community of gifted people.
An inextricable connection exists between discipleship and leadership development.
Discipleship and development are two sides of the same coin. One side is character and the other side is competency. When we picture the day-to-day ministry of Jesus, we often think of Him in front of crowds. However, if you look at the life of Christ throughout the Gospels, you will find He spent more time discipling and developing the Twelve than He spent with the crowds. How Jesus allocated His time is both staggering and convicting. The Great Commission calls us to do the same. We must develop, not just do. We must make disciples, not just be disciples. We must build an army, not just an audience.
The majority of church leaders express some level of conviction regarding the importance of leadership development. So why are so few actually doing it? Our team at LifeWay Leadership has conducted research and had numerous conversations with church leaders, and we have found that four main barriers top the list.
1) They don’t know how.
2) They don’t have time.
3) They don’t have a framework.
4) They don’t have the resources.
There is a solution to these problems—developing a leadership pipeline. Pipeline is a system and structure that churches of any size can put in place, a culture of developing leaders at every level. Leadership pipeline isn’t a silver bullet or quick fix or magic growth strategy. It’s something that churches of various sizes and polities can implement to help both the leaders and the congregants for the sake of the ministry.
In October of this year, our team at LifeWay Leadership is hosting Pipeline, a conference to train church leadership teams on how to develop and implement your own leadership pipeline. We want you and your team to join us, so we are giving away free registrations to three people.
Whether you win the free registration or not, we would love to have you be part of Pipeline. Be sure to take advantage of the early bird registration discounts for you and your team.