Uneducated leadership

disciples in storm.jpg

The second common objecting levelled at church planting movements (CPMs):

New believers are rushed into leadership without academic theological education.

This was charge levelled at Jesus followers, they were ordinary men who were untrained in academic theology and without proper credentials (Acts 4:13).

The same charge was levelled at John Wesley's workers and preachers.

Every Methodist was expected to have a ministry. At least one in ten had a formal leadership position in the movement. Many of those leaders were women, including some of Wesley’s preachers. Opponents among the clergy condemned this “prostituting of the ministerial function” and mocked the poor and illiterate Methodists who “pretended to be pregnant with a message from the Lord.”

Wesley followed Jesus' example and continually trained his workers on the job, not in the classroom; and just in time, not just in case.

This is how the Methodists and Baptists in the first half of the nineteenth century captured the US frontier. Meanwhile, nothing could convince the well-paid and well-educated mainline clergy to leave their comfortable parishes on the east coast for the challenge of reaching the Wild west.

The decline of the Methodist movement began when their mobile circuit rides got down off their horses to become theologically educated parish clergy.

So, what example did Jesus set in training leaders? The answer is in the scene depicted above. Head, heart and hands. On the job. On the road. Just in time. Obedience oriented. Life-long.

That's our model.

QUESTION: how are you growing leaders?