Equipping and sending out leaders is a key aspect of ministry. Leaders need to be investing in and equipping other men and women to lead in various capacities. This is no easy task though. You are looking for men and women who can lead others to storm hell with water pistols. It can be difficult to discern if someone is a leader-in-the-making, and I think God is quite pleased to use people we would least expect.
However, there is at least one quick way you may be able to tell if someone is not ready to lead: whenever a dude or gal visits with you and explicitly, or heavily implies, that they would like to be a leader in your church, that may be a sure sign they are not ready to lead anytime soon. If you have that happen, they may have just made clear that they are not in a position to lead.
The reason I say that “may” be a sign, is because it isn’t always true, but in my experience, humble and gifted leaders are usually the ones to not ask to be in leadership; they end up asking to do the dirty, behind the scenes work. Actually, they don’t even assume that is best. They trust themselves to other leaders to tell them what to do. The best leaders are great followers first.
They are the ones who, when given an opportunity to share about their story, talk far more about their sin, failures, and lack of achievements, rather than their growth and achievements. They talk far more about their radical need for mercy and grace than all the ways they seem to not need it.
They are the ones who don’t base their identity on how much they have accomplished “for God”. They don’t base their identity on how many “followers” they have, how many people read their blogs, how many successful Bible studies they have started, or how many people have met Jesus through them.
They are the ones who view leadership as something that can be done without a public platform, without a mic, without a small-group leadership role, and without a blog following (I just convicted myself. Dang.).
In my ministry right now, I’m looking for the guys and gals who are not so confident in their leadership skills. I’m looking for men and women who want to do anything, anything, to serve the purposes of God through the local church. If that means picking up trash, stacking chairs, setting up for church, or whatever, they are happy to do it.
I’m not impressed with those skilled with words, good on a mic, or popular with people. I’m impressed by those who simply want to serve Jesus by doing whatever needs to be done. Those are the ones I want to give a platform to, so that others may have an example to follow.
Give those kinds of men and women the mic. Give them the small group. Give them the leadership mantle. Because those are the men and women I want to follow; those are the ones I trust to follow as we storm hell with water pistols.