Raising Up Leaders INSIDE your Church



   One of the greatest challenges in church is raising up church leaders. This topic comes up at nearly every speaking engagement I participate in. Most statistics show that only about 3-6% of people in an organization are strong leaders; that's a small basket to pick from. 

     When we think about those stats, we need to remember one thing; the 3-6% are only strong leaders because someone poured into them. While I agree, some people are born with extraverted and/or proactive personalities, the reality is, leaders are not born, they are raised up. So the question is, how do we raise up leaders in the church...especially a church who reaches unchurched people?

   I believe the answer is clear; and most importantly...its gospel.  

 The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Matthew 13:44 NLT

  The tendency of pastors is to look for the 3% instead of looking for treasure that's hidden in the field. Translation: typically everything you need is already in front of you; you just have to find it. As we break down this parable, let me share three things that will help you begin to think about raising up leaders in your church.  



  • Beware of Billboards: The parable says the treasure was in an empty field (not a gold mine). The implication here is there was nothing special about the field. In other words, this was probably not prime real estate. When raising up leaders, be careful not to only look at the prime real estate (the 3-6%); look deeper. Things can look good on the surface, but with little or no value underneath the surface. Trust me, It's much easier to take a person who loves Jesus and raise up a leader than to take a strong leader and make him fall in love with Jesus. 

  • Leaders Have to be Discovered: I believe churches are full of treasures; but like most treasure, it's buried. If Jesus built the church, I'm pretty sure he has everything you need to accomplish the mission IN the church; and what isn't there, he'll send. This means you have to spend time "looking" for the treasure. Discovering leaders takes intentionality. You have to bring people into the right environments and create the right conversations to discover the treasure. While there are times we have to pull people in from the outside, often we overlook valuable people who's buried in the very "field" of people we preach to every Sunday morning. 

  • Finding Treasure Requires Digging & Investment: Here's the bottom line. If you're going to dig for treasure, you have to be willing to deal with the dirt. Some people are buried a little deeper than others; some are right underneath the surface. Yet both have dirt (actually, we all do). No one pulls a clean, shiny treasure out of the ground. Before the treasure can shine, it's has to be washed, cleaned and polished. Some are dirtier than others; therefore, some takes more time. This means you have to coach people; speak into their lives; help them understand God's plan for their lives. The parable says the man sold everything he had to buy the field. Why? Maybe it was because he thought, "If there's one treasure in this field, there's probably more." The fact is, you have lots of treasure in your congregation. Some are messy, some are dirty and some are buried. Your job is to discover them and help them understand their value to God and His mission. 

    In my own church, we reach a very diverse crowd of people. We have three recovery homes, which allows us to minister to very broken people; but we also have entrepreneurs and business leaders who appear to have their life together. Yet both have their own dirt. We have to be willing to deal with the dirt in order equip the saints to discover their worth and giftedness for God. And yes, some of my greatest leaders today are those who were buried very deep; but once they were discovered and invested in, they become that 3-6%.


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