One of the best ways for your church to become healthier is to help your members to become leaders. This requires the primary leader allow a team of leaders to take ownership for shaping the culture of the church.
Members need to move from merely focusing on completing tasks to owning the destiny of the church. The pastor must move from being responsible for everything to delegating responsibilities. The church’s achievements should be the result of shared responsibility, shared vision, and shared leadership.
When we allow people to become leaders in the church, greater things can be accomplished. How can a pastor make this transition successfully?
1 – Trust Your People
Trust means believing the best in people. Often times, pastors hold back from inviting other people to take ownership and responsibility in the ministry because they are uncertain of whether their people can be trusted to follow through.
When Jesus recruited the 12 Disciples, he trusted that they would change.
We must recognize that giving leadership responsibilities and experiences to people is part of the discipleship process. Though not every person in your church is currently capable of exercising the level of leadership you would like, you must believe that they will grow as leaders over time. As leaders, we are responsible for giving them opportunities to lead.
We must believe the best in our people. We must believe they can accomplish what we want them to accomplish as long as we are willing to guide them in the process.
If you are a pastor, I recommend you pray for the ability to trust those you are leading and invite them into leadership.
2 – Set Clear Expectations
If we are going to be successful in helping people to become leaders and not just members, we need to provide clear expectations.
When you invite somebody to fill a key role in your church, take the necessary time to write down a description of their roles and responsibilities. Too often, church leaders give broad descriptions of what they are asking from people at church. When that happens, it muddies the waters. Down the road, conflict ensues because people are not meeting the unspoken expectations.
Clear expectations enhance communication and allow for greater effectiveness down the road.
3 – Leverage Spiritual Gifts
By helping your people to become leaders, you are helping them to exercise their spiritual gifts.
Paul reminds us in Romans 12 that every part of the body has a purpose. The church is a body, and every part must fulfill its intended function. The whole body must work together to accomplish what God has called your church to do.
Ask people to join your leadership team not merely to take responsibility for tasks but to exercise their spiritual gifts.
If you find people serving in your church who are chronically critical, discouraged, and negative, this is usually because they are not serving according to their spiritual gifts. When people are exercising their spiritual gifts, it is a life-giving experience as the joy of the Lord increases in their lives.
Is it time for some of your members to become leaders in your church?
Do you need to start trusting your people more? Do you need to provide clearer expectations? Are you helping your people to exercise their spiritual gifts?