One of the largely undervalued aspects of leadership in churches, is the need to train others. When we look at Jesus’ leadership model we notice he regularly gave leadership roles to the seemingly unqualified.

In Luke 10:9 we see Jesus sending out the seventy to announce, “the Kingdom of God is near you.” Previously when the twelve were sent out they were “to preach the kingdom of God” which is interesting because when we look at Acts 1:6, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” It shows the disciples were still thinking of a physical kingdom and did not really understand the true nature of God’s kingdom even though they had been preaching about it.

Furthermore would we have chosen uneducated fishermen, quick tempered brothers and a dodgy tax collector to be the leaders of the church? It seems Jesus regularly appointed people to positions who we would consider incompetent. Remember Jesus also had the disciples, including Judas, healing the sick and casting out demons. Unfortunately in churches we tend to wait until someone is mature and their ability is fully developed. Or perhaps our reasons are more selfish. Are we afraid we will miss out on opportunities of using our gifts and abilities if we encourage others?

Sometimes Christians, who should know their worth is in being God’s children, seem to find their worth in their performance. They refuse others the chance of being involved because they don’t want to step aside. They may justify themselves by saying others are inept or unreliable when all they really are, is inexperienced. This would soon be rectified if they were given some opportunities. I’ve heard people commenting with pride that they have been playing the piano, or printing the newsletter, or handing our song books, or whatever, at their church for 10…20…25 years. I feel like saying, “How sad that you couldn’t find anyone to train.”

We need to stop clinging to our area of ministry and start looking for someone who needs an opportunity, particularly a young person. Young people often leave the church out of boredom. They were never asked to make any meaningful contribution and consequently never felt like they belonged. I’ve seen 14 year-olds lead worship, play the piano, teach Sunday school, and pray in public. They may not do it as well and their efforts may not be as polished but often they do it with a great heart. And isn’t heart attitude more important than performance?

Maybe our real fear is that someone will do it better than us, or differently, and we may never get asked again. Regardless of our reluctance, others need the chance to test their abilities, stretch their faith and discover which area of service God wants them in. We also need to bear in mind that Jesus was a whole lot less worried about failure than we are. At Jesus’ arrest when Peter cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant, Jesus touched him, and healed him (Luke 22:51). Jesus still has the power to fix and heal the mistakes we make.

So it’s time to give someone else a turn!

This post is part of a synchroblog on the topic of “Leadership”. You can see the posts from the other synchrobloggers by clicking on the links below:

Jonathan Brink – Letter To The President

Adam Gonnerman – Aspiring to the Episcopate

Kai – Leadership – Is Servant Leadership a Broken Model?

Sally Coleman – In the world but not of it- servant leadership for the 21st Century Church

Alan Knox – Submission is given not taken

Joe Miller – Elders Lead a Healthy Family: The Future

Cobus van Wyngaard – Empowering leadership

Steve Hayes – Servant leadership

Geoff Matheson – Leadership

John Smulo – Australian Leadership Lessons

Helen Mildenhall – Leadership

Tyler Savage – Moral Leadership – Is it what we need?

Bryan Riley – Leading is to Listen and Obey

Liz Dyer – A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Polls…

Bill Ellis – Leadership and the Re-humanizing of the World

Ellen Haroutunian – A New Kind of Leadership

Matt Stone – Converting Leadership

Julie Clawson – Leadership Expectations

Kathy Escobar – I’m pretty sure this leadership book won’t make it on the bestseller list

Bethany Stedman – A Leadership Mosaic

Sonja Andrews – Leadership In An Age of Cholera

Lionel Woods – Why Diverse Leadership is Good for America

Steve Bradley – Lording or Leading?

Adam Myers – Two types of Leadership

Fuzzy Orthodoxy – Self Leadership

Tara Hull – Leadership & Being A Single Mom

Joe Speranzella – Leadership: This Election and Social Justice

Beth Patterson – Leadership: being the river