One of the things that has surprised me most over the years is how little we put faith at the center of our church planter training. Certainly faith is a part of the culture and it is always “assumed,” but there is not always a lot of training on how to lead with faith and pass on that faith to the next generation.
Here I discuss five aspects to leading with faith that every planter needs to build into their church.
1. Faithful leaders exhibit God’s power and presence.
It is the weak and faithless leader who intimidates and demands obedience based on their title as “pastor.” The strong leader is trusted because people see God in his gentle demeanor and loving service.
2. Faithful leaders are really dead men walking.
Funny how some “pastors” have plenty of time for traveling, writing books and speaking at conferences, but they delegate the “lesser” tasks of hospital visits, discipling the young in faith or counseling the broken-hearted.
Church planters, we are called to die to self and live for the churches we plant. Strong leaders know that their power comes from their status as a child of eternity, and not their status among other leaders.
3. Faithful leaders have dangerous thinking.
There is nothing safe about biblical leadership. God’s leaders are willing to sacrifice comfort, wealth and status for the sake of the Gospel and for the sake of the church.
4. Faithful leaders follow God’s vison, not man’s opinion.
The church is enamored with pastors who can create and cast vision. There is no end to the books and conferences that encourage leaders to model the “big church” leaders by developing their own unique “brand.” The truth is, we don’t need to have a “Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal” to be a church planter. Why? Because God has already provided the only dream we need: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
5. Faithful leaders know that success comes from the soul.
Ultimately, the greatest leaders are the ones who lead from the inside-out. Leaders don’t point the way others must go, they walk the path and ask others to follow. Leadership is simply mature discipleship, not a special category or job description. Planters, be a role model of maturity and help others grow into the fullness of Faith!