Investing in Everybody
A friend of mine in ministry got into trouble with his Lead Pastor because there were people in his leadership pipeline that the Lead Pastor didn’t think were acceptable, people that this Lead Pastor would feel comfortable sending people to a group that they hosted. This Lead Pastor is “high control” and defines leadership as “controlling.”
This type of control will always limit the potential of the church and ministry.
Howard Snyders writes,
One hears today that it is hard to ﬁnd enough leaders for small groups or for those to carry on the other responsibilities of the church. (John) Wesley put one in ten, perhaps one in ﬁve, to work in signiﬁcant ministry and leadership. And who were these people? Not the educated or the wealthy with time on their hands, but laboring men and women, husbands and wives and young folks with little or no training, but with spiritual gifts and eagerness to serve . . . Not only did Wesley reach the ‘ masses; he made leaders of thousands of them.1
Everyone has a sphere of influence, friends that they can minister to in the name of Jesus. The issue is not a matter of who the Lead Pastor feels comfortable with in representing the church, sending people to the group. The issue is in equipping people to be sent to their friends who they feel comfortable reaching.
I’ve equipped plenty of leaders who are a bit quirky and unique, and by nature I wouldn’t gravitate toward attending a group that they lead, but it is not about me and who I feel comfortable hanging with. It is about equipping everyone to reach those whom God has uniquely equipped them to reach.
As Joel Comiskey writes in his excellent book, “Leadership Explosion,”
A study of 300 highly successful people such as Franklin Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Winston Churchill, Albert Schweitzer, Mahatma Gandhi, and Albert Einstein revealed that one-fourth had handicaps such as blindness, deafness, or crippled limbs. Three-fourths had either been born in poverty, come from broken homes, or from exceedingly tense or disturbed situations.2
Sometimes we fail to see the potential in people because we are looking at the wrong thing. We select those who connect with our background and personality and pass over those who have limitations or follow a different drummer.
It’s time for us to reconsider what the Lord told Samuel in selecting leaders:
1 Samuel 16:6–7 (ESV) When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”