A Word From The Bishop....
|CULTIVATE GREATNESS IN YOUR LEADERS
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.
Leading within the Church is quite different than in any other arena of life. There is a factor which denotes not only the qualification to lead but
also the ability to lead. If we were to glance over into such arenas as business, education, or government we would find that in these fields
leadership is based primarily upon one’s education or training. If the educational credentials are in place, the candidate is considered for the
job; if the educational credentials are lacking, he is not given consideration in the hiring process. Careers in these fields are educationally
based. But this is not the way things are within the Church. There is another factor that dwarfs all others, and in this brief study, we will look at
I try to picture those special moments when Jesus selected His chosen twelve. There He was strolling down the beach and suddenly He pauses
to talk with a fisherman. He invites Peter to follow Him. He accepts the invitation and in an instant, that fisherman went from being a
businessman to a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. The selection process was simple and quick; Peter simply answered the call of God. When
he answered the call, his life changed forever and his Kingdom destiny was launched.
Peter followed Jesus for three years, and during that time, he operated primarily in the role of a servant of Jesus and as a student of His
teachings. Those three years were certainly a season of training. He was attending “Messiah University.” It is interesting to me to note that his
selection for the job came before he graduated from Messiah University. That tells me Jesus gave no consideration to Peter’s educational
credentials when He called him to be one of His chosen ones. Does this tell us that God somehow looks at things differently than the world?
THAT “SPECIAL SOMETHING” ADDED.
The three years Peter attended Messiah University was a time of dynamic training, to be sure. He experienced things most folks could hardly
imagine. He heard words that stopped storms and gave life. He was coached in how to minister the awesome power of God to people in need.
He was in a process of growth and maturation. But the one thing that was most important was that something special that was divinely
bestowed upon him that day on the beach when he responded to Jesus’ invitation to follow Him. That something special was the anointing of
The anointing is the power of God. It is a spiritual concept that is hard for the natural mind to wrap around. The difficulty in comprehending the
concept of the anointing occurs because it is a work of the Holy Spirit, and the things of the Spirit cannot be grasped by the natural mind. The
natural mind says that a person must be fully qualified before he is allowed to handle a certain job; whereas, God says that because of the
anointing the man is qualified. The anointing instantly transforms something or someone from what is referred to as “common” into something
or someone that God deems as “holy.” It is not based upon anything previously accomplished or attained, but rather the anointing is bestowed
simply upon the basis of God’s choosing. I doubt that Peter felt any different ten minutes after he left his boats and nets, but he certainly was a
different person. The anointing of God came upon him and marked him for Kingdom purposes, forever.
The anointing not only is the active ingredient in the selection and qualifying process, but it is the dynamic force that fully enables the one who
is anointed by God to operate above his own humanity. It elevates him up onto the spiritual level where the laws of God dominate and where
His powerful principles govern. There would come a day years later when Peter would raise a woman by the name of Dorcas from the dead. A
supernatural feat of that magnitude is only possible on the spiritual level and only by one who is anointed by the One who gives life. The
moment Peter accepted the call of Jesus, the power to raise Dorcas from the dead was there. Of course, it had to be cultivated through
knowledge and understanding, but nonetheless it was in place at the point of his calling.
Pastor, every one on your leadership team carries the anointing of God. Your responsibility is to help cultivate the anointing in each of them.
That means they will mature into the use of what is already within them. The ideal situation is one in which a leader-in-training learns to
operate in the spiritual realm under the tutorage of a man of God. It is the season in which mistakes are made and learned from. When proper
mentoring takes place leaders are empowered and emboldened; they develop confidence in God’s anointing that is at work in them and
through them. As you release your leaders to do more and more and as you carefully monitor what they do, you are doing what a good leader
does, you are allowing those called to assist you to do the work of the Lord.
THE PASTORAL MISTAKE.
A mistake I have seen in local churches is when the pastor is reluctant to release his leaders to learn and grow through actual hands-on work.
There seems to be a fear in some pastors that mistakes made by these leaders will be so destructive it will damage the church. This fear
actually holds back the development of God’s anointing in these men and women; this fear also impedes the progress of the church because
the gifts and talents resident within them is stifled. A look at the training program used by Jesus is the perfect model you should use in your
church training your leaders. Jesus sent them out two by two ahead of Him with limited responsibility and full accountability on short journeys of
a few days. They would return and account to Jesus what they did and He would teach them based upon their experiences and questions. This
process of training enabled the disciples to learn and grow, preparing them for the day when Jesus would expect them to be able to fully
operate without His constant oversight. This is how it must be in your church.
TRUST THE ANOINTING.
One admonition I always give to ministers-in-training is to trust the anointing that is within them. When they trust the anointing they are actually
trusting God because it is the Spirit of the Lord that applies the anointing and monitors it on an ongoing basis. The same trust is to be
practiced by one who mentors leaders. Pastor, as one who is responsible for raising up leaders in your church, you must trust the anointing
that is within each one of them. That does not mean you sit back passively and just let them do whatever they want. No indeed. There is a lot
of work to training leaders. It is not unlike Jesus walking daily with the ones He chose. The Holy Spirit will guide you with each leader you have.
Each one will need different help because each is unique and each will face different challenges during their training season. There is not a
general template you can use in training leaders. The key is for you to trust the anointing of God in them just as you have learned to trust it in
you. It will carry them just as it carries you.
IT HAPPENS ON PURPOSE.
Cultivating the anointing in your leaders needs to be approached in a methodical way. I suggest to pastors to allocate a certain number of
hours each week to leadership training. For example, if you block off the time period each Thursday afternoon from 1:00pm – 6:00pm for
leadership training, then you are far more likely to raise up anointed leaders than if you just hope you will find the time to handle this important
task. Be definite. Be purposeful in this regard. It may mean you have to table other tasks, but I assure you that training leaders will reap
bountiful harvests in your church for years to come. It is truly a long-term investment worth your effort and priority.
Cultivating the anointing in your leaders takes patience and understanding on your part. It is like my Dad trying to teach me to fish when I was
a young boy. Over and over again, he would show me how to cast the line out into the water. I would try again and again until I finally perfected
the timing of releasing the latch on the reel at just the right time just as my arm swung over my shoulder in the casting motion. His patience with
me was ultimately the reason I was successful. So it must be with you. Your leaders will make mistakes. They have minds of their own, and that
means they might think a bit differently than you do on a certain subject. Their gifts and talents differ from yours, and that means they will do
things differently than you might do them. Be there to help them. Spend the time needed to instruct them on what to do; correct them when
they do wrong; and empathize with them when they just don’t know. Your patience and your understanding will enable them to develop fully
into the men and women of God He has planned for them to become.
SOME PRACTICAL ADVICE.
May I make a suggestion to you that will help you? When someone on your leadership team is teaching or preaching, it is usually better if you
were not present. Your presence makes it difficult for the speaker to focus on what he or she is there to do, which is to minister the Word of
God. In the back of the student’s mind is the thought that since the instructor is present he is critiquing every word that is said. This thinking
works against the anointing to minister. It is good for you to hear their teaching or sermon, for that is how you will monitor their development; I
suggest you record the service for your review later. Your presence in the service might also have another negative effect, and that is to divert
the attention of your congregation away from the speaker onto you. You are their pastor, their leader, and they look to you for guidance. They
will monitor your every facial expression as you hear the leader speak rather than paying close attention to what is being taught or preached.
Of course, there are certain times you must be present when one of your leaders is ministering, and if that is the case, assure the speaker
ahead of time that you are there primarily to receive ministry, not to critique the teaching or sermon. It might even be appropriate for you to
open the service with a brief word of instruction that will help to keep the audience focused on the speaker so they might receive from the
Lord. Practical considerations like this one come from years of experience; therefore, I hope they are helpful to you.
LET THEM GO.
One of the most difficult things for a pastor to face is that day when someone from your leadership team tells you that God has spoken to him
about starting a church somewhere or moving on to another venue of ministry away from your church. The first thought might be, “How will this
vacancy in the team affect the church?” The second thought might be to feel badly about losing someone in whom you have invested so
much. You may even be tempted to feel threatened in some way that they will compete favorably with your church and surpass your own
efforts. I have had these thoughts and asked these questions at such times myself. It helped me a lot when I met one on my ex-leaders at a
citywide gathering. In the conversation he pointed out no less than seven people in the room who at one time or another were under my
training. Now they were pastors of their own churches or key ministers on staff at other churches. In each case, I remembered the feeling of
loss at the departure of each of these anointed men and women, but now things were being placed into the correct perspective. Previously, I
failed to see the bigger picture of the Body of Christ and I was too focused on my own little part of it. As pastors, we are charged with the task
of discipling people, and that includes discipling leaders who will go out from our churches to follow the plan of God. So, when that happens,
rejoice! You have done your job and done it well. The Body of Christ is stronger and more able to fulfill the Master Plan because you were a
faithful servant of Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the Head of the Church. It is His anointing that rests upon each one whom He has called to lead in His Church. He has commissioned
you, Pastor, to cultivate the anointing in those He has entrusted to your charge. And remember this: He has anointed you to carry out this
task. So, trust the anointing and you will succeed. Amen.