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Church planting 9: Leadership development


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These are notes from a simple introductory course on Church Planting. The majority of the course notes presented here are based upon J. D. Payne’s Planting Apostolic Churches.

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Church planting 9: Leadership development

  2. 2. Developing leaders/elders, is a vital part of the work of any CP team. The CP team help the church to identify leaders by giving clear instruction on what qualities , etc., are desired or required.
  3. 3. On Paul and Barnabas’s first journey it was the last thing they did before returning to Antioch, Acts 14:23 Paul left Titus on Crete to do the same job - Tit. 1:5
  4. 4. Churches are planted without elders in place, but elders should then be raised up as soon as possible.What follows is some advice on how to help a church identify elders:
  6. 6. The Bible has simple guidelines and expectations for those who are involved in leadership.Any CP team should follow them. Think about these passages:
  7. 7. ◆ Acts 20:28-35 ◆ Eph. 4:11, 12 ◆ 1 Tim 3:1-7, 5:17-19 ◆ Titus 1:5-9 ◆ 1 Pet 5:1-4
  8. 8. Look at the believers: - pray—who from them could serve as leaders? - explain biblically what is required of pastoral leadership
  9. 9. - Explain servanthood - Explain the need to show Jesus in your life - Explain about caring for your family - Explain caring for, and serving in all areas of the church.
  10. 10. Leaders are ordinary, normal people. They are worthy of double honour but also are judged more severely - 1 Tim 5:17, Jas 3:1.
  11. 11. Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.
  12. 12. Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
  13. 13. Leaders are not “better” Christians, they simply have a different call and giftedness. The Holy Spirit is the one who makes people leaders - Acts 20:28.
  14. 14. The Bible suggests, but doesn’t say clearly, that there should be two or more elders… if there are not enough good candidates start with one rather than lower your standards.
  15. 15. The church decides who to ask and approaches them —but the CP team should help them. Why do it in this way?
  16. 16. The local people will “own” the decision—it is their choice.
  17. 17. It is important in self-governing and helps them to grow in their understanding of the Word and listening to the Spirit.
  18. 18. There is a partnership at work, you are not being paternalistic.
  20. 20. No team is culturally neutral - we all have a bias due to our cultural background and traditions.
  21. 21. A CP team must look at their expectations for new leaders and decide how much is biblical and how much is your own cultural ideas and preferences.
  22. 22. What in your culture is good, or neutral? Are your ideas a problem to the spread of the Gospel or growth of the church.
  23. 23. What you did in the past will not necessarily work in a different location.
  24. 24. Do you expect new leaders to live up to the educational and cultural standards of your home church (and country)?
  25. 25. If yes probably the local church cannot provide its own leaders—other missionaries have to lead.
  26. 26. If there are potential local leaders what training and education do they do?
  27. 27. Often it is material the CP team has brought culturally from their own home church / country.
  28. 28. Cultural ideas may be present even in non-Christianised contexts.
  29. 29. Culturally people may think they know what a pastor should look like from other sources —these ideas may or may not be helpful to the new church.
  30. 30. Adapting the words of Jesus,“You have heard it was said (in this case about being a pastor/elder/church leader)…but I say to you…”
  31. 31. You correct a wrong model that has been brought by poor “Christian” examples.
  34. 34. 3. SHOW MISSIONARY FAITH— KNOW WHEN TO TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF! 3. ___________________________________ ___________________________________
  35. 35. Payne makes this bold statement: One of the most shocking passages in the Bible is Acts 20:17-38—Paul’s address to the Ephesian elders.
  36. 36. Why does he say this? Would you agree or disagree?
  37. 37. Read the passage, examine what it teaches, what happens, what you might conclude from it? Does the passage justify Payne’s statement?
  38. 38. Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them: “You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews;
  39. 39. 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.[c] 22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by[d] the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me.
  40. 40. 24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again
  41. 41. 26Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God,[e] which he obtained with his own blood.[f] 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock;
  42. 42. 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. 32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
  43. 43. 33 I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. 34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. 35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said,‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
  44. 44. 36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, 38 being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again.And they accompanied him to the ship.
  45. 45. Some context might be helpful: ◆ A new church had been planted - but Satanic forces are at work trying to destroy it. ◆ There is opposition from unbelievers.
  46. 46. ◆ Former magicians and sorcerers (as well as people with different ideas about spirituality) are part of the new church.
  47. 47. Paul knows all this and is on a boat going to Jerusalem, knowing he will never see these believers again. So, why didn’t he stay?
  48. 48. Paul’s relationship with the church at Ephesus: ◆ Paul spent 3 years in Ephesus,Acts 19 ◆ Paul wanted to get to Jerusalem for Pentecost — so he calls the church elders to meet him at Miletus,Acts 20:15-17, he doesn’t even go to them.
  49. 49. ◆Paul knew the Spirit told him to go to Jerusalem ◆Paul clearly had worked hard at Ephesus— and he had clear prophetic insight into their future, fierce wolves would come in… vv29-30. ◆Paul wasn’t facing persecution there - there was no obvious need to leave.
  50. 50. ◆ We can assume the elders were prat of the new church–so they could have been believers for no more than 3 years.
  51. 51. On a human level it appears a strange, maybe crazy, decision to leave them. So what good reason can you come up with to explain Paul’s actions?
  52. 52. Payne suggests a simple reason: Paul was showing, and living out, a missionary faith
  53. 53. This is just like all else he shows us, there is nothing irresponsible or reckless in what he does.
  54. 54. 3. SHOW MISSIONARY FAITH— KNOW WHEN TO TAKE YOUR HANDS OFF! 3. ___________________________________ ___________________________________
  56. 56. This is one of the most difficult things a CP team has to do. For God to be in control you have to let go!
  57. 57. The church will go on without you, you don’t need to be in control of everything.
  58. 58. By trying to protect the church from problems we are often in danger of creating them—this is because you make the church dependent upon you, not upon God.
  59. 59. If we look at Paul in this passage we see that he… ◆ Modelled discipleship 18-19 ◆ Taught the whole counsel of God, 20-21, 26-27
  60. 60. ◆ Encouraged care for the church and themselves, 28 ◆ Warned them of problems to come, 29-30
  61. 61. ◆ Reminded them of his model, 31, 34-35 ◆ Left them in the hands of God, 32
  62. 62. Paul never returned to Ephesus—he sent Timothy, 1 Tim 1:3, and wrote a letter to them.
  63. 63. Pauls model was not faith in the people but of keeping his eyes on God. Jesus said, Matt 16:18…
  64. 64. New leaders might not be all you want them to be. They may do things differently to you.
  65. 65. They will have different insights, thoughts and actions to you. They might seem a little “rough” or unfinished—someone probably said that of you at one time!
  66. 66. Fear can be a terrible controller of a CP teams hearts and minds. Remember: God loves the church more than you do.
  67. 67. Be faithful, work hard, set an example and keep in relationship with the new church. Then exercise missionary faith—then the new church can run the race it is called to.
  68. 68. Question: How will the pastors / elders be trained? Answer: By the CP team. All of your experience is based upon making disciples and teaching people how to be disciples.
  69. 69. Decide how you will teach them, make sure you teach them the whole counsel of God, and that your teaching focusses on helping them to walk in obedience to God. Knowledge is not enough!
  70. 70. Equip leaders with belief, passion and skills for the job they are to take on. It is best to train them in their own cultural situation.
  71. 71. Question: When is someone ready to serve as an elder? Answer: There is no timeline for this—
  72. 72. —you should look prayerfully at the lives of peopled ask if they fulfil the biblical requirements.Will they serve, are they committed, will they act to equip others, do they get on with the people?
  73. 73. Question: What do we do about elders making mistakes? Answer: Everyone makes mistakes!
  74. 74. A mistake doesn’t disqualify you from service.Work out how much freedom you give to the trainee elders so that they do not destroy themselves or the church. Be ready to correct problems.
  75. 75. Question: Do the pastors need to be paid for their work in the church? Answer: No! But a day may come when the church chooses to pay them
  76. 76. Question: Is the CP teams work finished when elders are in place? Answer: No!
  77. 77. You will partner and mentor the church leaders—they still require your help, (you have less direct influence in the church). The CP team should work in leadership and theological training and development.
  78. 78. Have a short elder development process —training for the immediate questions and needs for the new pastors.
  79. 79. Then have a time of equipping, consider using a monthly mentoring time for accountability, teaching, encouragement and prayer.
  80. 80. Question: Should Paul and his team have just sent to Jerusalem or Antioch and brought experienced believers into the cities where they planted new churches? Answer: No!
  81. 81. In the KOG it is expected that a new church will grow and develop its own leaders—people from the local people. Any elders coming in from outside would be allowable but unusual, although not unbiblical.
  82. 82. SUMMARY
  83. 83. Ephesians 4:11-16:Appointing pastors / elders is a vital part in the life of any church. And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds[a] and teachers,[b] 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,
  84. 84. to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
  85. 85. 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. If we look at these verses what do we see that the result of the ministry of pastors should be?
  86. 86. We see shepherds/pastors/leadership building up and equipping people. Their ministry should result in the maturing of men and women in serving God.
  87. 87. The first leaders in a church are important - they set a course for the future. In this we must make sure we are biblical, are ready to go against cultural expectations and will demonstrate a missionary faith.
  88. 88. final session: Developing your strategy
  89. 89. The End