Dr. Jack L. Arnold

Lesson 15




I.                               The Reasons for Developing Leaders

A.          Why Leadership Development?

1.           There is no direct command in the Bible to train leadership but it is there in principle and practice.

2.           The Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20) tells us how important it is to teach Christians:  “. . . and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”  To teach people, there must be leaders that people will listen to, so leaders are important.

3.           In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul told Timothy to entrust doctrine to others who in turn might be able to teach others.

4.           There is the example of Jesus, who trained the Twelve and the Apostle Paul who trained Titus, Timothy, Mark and others.

5.           From the advice given by Jethro to Moses, we see the importance of raising up leaders and delegating responsibilities (Ex. 18:17-27).

B.          The Need for Leadership.  God is always looking for leaders (Ezk. 22:30; Jer. 5:1).  The Church has always had its leaders in the Reformation, para-church, modern missions movement.  Many of these men and women did not become famous until after they died.  The Church cannot exist without biblical and spiritual leaders.

C.           Where Do Leaders Come From?

1.           God chooses leaders (Acts 20:28).  If God does not choose a leader for His Church, it doesn’t make any difference how much leadership training he has.  He will not be a good leader.

2.           God Equips Leaders.  God equips leaders but he uses other leaders as instruments to get the task accomplished.  If one wants to lead, he/she must be willing to be trained, seeking personal help, and there must be wholehearted commitment and single-minded dedication to God.  God gives gifts; we develop gifts in dependence on the Holy Spirit.


II.                            Purpose in Leadership

A.          Need for Purpose.  Leadership provides purpose for accomplishing a task.  A leader going nowhere is not a leader.

B.          Establishing a Purpose.  What do you want to accomplish?  What do you want your followers to accomplish?  What do you want the leaders you develop to accomplish?  What do you want their followers to accomplish?  NOTE:  Christ did not command us to start churches, because He will do that (Matt. 16:18).  Our marching orders are “to make disciples” (Matt. 28:19-20).

C.           The Ultimate Purpose.  The purpose of leadership is to be committed to the Great Commission—make disciples . . . teaching them to obey everything I have command you.”  If we are not firmly committed to the Great Commission, why are we training leaders and what are we training them to do?  No purpose.

D.          Ways People Produce Leadership

1.           Plug trainees into an existing program without training (inadequate).

2.           Trainee hangs around and absorbs by osmosis what he can (irresponsible).

3.           Trainee is left to the Holy Spirit alone to train (unscriptural).

4.           Leaders reproduce themselves in the trainee like Christ and the Twelve or Paul and Timothy or Barnabas and Mark (2 Tim. 2:2).


III.                         Strategy for Developing Leadership

A.         Multiplication.  The goal of training disciples is that of multiplication rather than addition. A leader must die to himself to train others and be committed to training quality disciples (John 12:24).

B.         Worth of the Individual.  Every person born in this world is created in God’s image, although that image has been marred by sin.  Every person is unique and of value.  Christ died for individuals as well as the church collectively.  Obviously Christ thought individuals were worth dying for.  God chose individuals before the foundation of the world to be God’s channels of blessing to the world.  Individuals have great value (work) in the sight of God, and leaders must invest in individuals.

C.         Man to Man.  Leadership training through discipleship is a dynamic spiritual relationship between two individuals who have submitted themselves to the Lord Jesus, the Word, the Holy Spirit and one another for the purpose of teaching and admonition in all aspects of development for the whole man.  This relationship is usually characterized by a leader and a follower who share life and ministry.  This relationship is shared by having fun together, casually hanging out together and having structured teaching together.  This relationship is built on love, acceptance, truth, trust and loyalty, which results in real communication and dynamic edification.

D.         Identifying a Person to Mentor (Who do I invest in?).

1.           A man after God’s own heart.

2.           One who is willing to count the cost of following.

3.           A person who is respected, takes the lead, is an opinion-maker, encourages others, who wants to grow.

4.           A person who truly desires to be a leader.

E.          Recruiting Leaders (How do I get leaders?)

1.           As you serve and love others, individuals will want to be trained by you.

2.           Challenge the potential follower and show him clear objectives.

3.           Commit to him before he commits to you, if possible.

4.           Have a plan for training a leader that the potential leader can understand and identify with.

5.           Recruit to the potential leader’s needs—where he is, not where he should be.

6.           Recruit to Christ and to a person you personally can connect with, even though he/she may be very different than you.

7.           NOTE:  Jesus recruited disciples to Himself; told them what to do—“Follow Me.”  He told them what He would do for them—“I will make…  He told them what they would be able to do—“Be fishers of men.”  Jesus kept it simple, low-cost and made it easy to say no (Matt. 4:19).

F.          Selecting Leaders (How do I choose leaders?)

1.           Invite a potential leader by your invitation, not his.

2.           Select on the basis of character and whether a person is already doing some ministry.

3.           Select the person who really wants to be trained and pay the price for leadership.

4.           Select a person who seems to be willing to go on from where he presently is.

5.           Don’t select too early—it is easier to ask a person to come with you then to ask him to leave.

G.         Association

1.           Jesus chose men to be with him—men train men; women train women.

2.           Be sure that potential trainees clearly understand the cost of training and are convinced it is God’s will for them.

3.           The leader must be willing to spend time with trainees in conversation and association in the normal affairs of life—quality and quantity time.

4.           Don’t take on too many trainees at once—Jesus was the Master Trainer and He only trained twelve men in three years.

5.           Model your faith in front of the trainees—things are better “caught” than “taught.”

6.           As a leader grows older, he should be training more leaders.  At the end of His earthly ministry Jesus spent more time with the disciples than with the multitudes.

7.           NOTE:  Be careful who you share intimate details of your life with.  Most people cannot be trusted to keep secrets.  If you have found a brother or sister who can keep secrets, you have found a rare jewel.  Remember that Jesus shared his life with twelve men and one of them was a devil and betrayed Him!