Growing leaders by the Book

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I sat down with a church planter yesterday. He's done an outstanding job. Now he's ready to really make a difference by growing leaders who plant churches.

So Steve, you're the "expert" how do I put a curriculum together for training church planters?

Who says you need one?

Forget about the classroom and make the real the world the teacher.

Recruit interns and tell them each one to come up with a challenging assignment that involves starting something from scratch. And I don't mean a new manual for training ushers.

Tell your interns to write the curriculum and and have them come prepared to teach every class. Don't tell them which one will be teaching each class until they get there.

Bring in a church planter who knows something about dealing with conflict because they've come through it; or knows something about evangelism because they regularly see people come to know Christ; or knows something about building teams because they can. . .

Whatever the topic is, find a planter who is good at it because they've done it. . . Then get them to tell their story and teach the class on conflict or evangelism or building teams etc.

Bad idea, don't bring the planter in to teach your interns. Send the interns out to meet with the planter in the field. Even if they have to drive a hundred miles to do it.

When they come back tell, them you're leaving for a month on holidays and it's their job to run the church. Leave your mobile phone hidden in your office so they'll hear it ring when they call you for help.

Instead of asking them to write an essay on the book of Romans, tell them to take some new disciples through Romans. Then assess each intern on how well their students have learnt.

Have each intern recruit a team to take on an overseas mission trip and come up with a strategy to pay for it. Don't give them any money.

Meet with the interns each week and study whatever book you happen to be reading. Assume they've all read the chapter. If they haven't, send them home. If they have, ask: What did you learn? What did God say to you? What do you need to do?

Make sure they're doing the same thing with a group of leaders they're growing.

Each intern's job is to pioneer a ministry from scratch that touches lives and makes disciples. They have a year to do it. At the end of 12 months they must have a team in place that can continue without them.

You're growing church planters.

If you're not sure about this approach for growing leaders. Don't do it. Instead, read the Gospels and do what Jesus did.