I was hanging out with one who’s name is only mentioned in the secret circles of the church planting word yesterday and throughout our conversation I was captivated by a thought over and over.
No surprise here, the thought is in the title. It would seem to me that the collective church has had an identity issue with the concept of leadership and the development of disciples. The identity crises is this; many church leaders have fallen for the idea that they are in charge and need to have their well meaning voice heard in the discipleship of the scattered community. (The scattered being, small groups, missional communities, etc)
The rub is simple. If you are doing discipleship well, training leaders to be leaders and allowing them to make mistakes, you are essentially letting go of your identity as a leader and allowing the Senior Shepard to work in the hearts of the people that are being discipled by the people you trained up. It creates spirit dependence, it forces great discipleship training and actual grinding to happen. Most of all, it opens up the hearts of the first generation leaders, to the Spirit so that they don’t start believing the lie that they die something amazing.
The argument is not to have strong leadership and work hard in the giftings you have. The argument really is, pastor are you willing to let God work through your people, developing leaders and allowing you the space to enjoy making new disciples?