Every leader should be fruitful. One of the hallmarks of fruitfulness is to reproduce what you are. Christians should reproduce more Christians. Leaders should produce more leaders, apostles should produce apostles, pastors should produce pastors, and so on. You bear fruit according to your kind. I wonder about people who have pastored for decades and never raised up another pastor. I think it takes a lot of effort not to reproduce, reproduction should be natural.
It starts very simply with two very simple things. I want you to think carefully about whether you are doing these two things, so that you know if in the next five years you will be raising up some more leaders like you. You need more leaders for your ministry, church, business, organization to grow. So take a second, ask God to help you answer these questions honestly:
- Do you appreciate the people around you for who they are and what they do for you? Do you praise their work and accomplishments?
- Do you believe in your people? A lot of pastors do not. Do you believe they will do a great job if they are released – and if not, that it is your responsibility to invest in them until they can?
I used to work in a programming team, programming computer code. I was not the best programmer, I was not the most intuitive at the languages, I struggled to sit and read code for hours on end to find bugs. But I had a skill very few in computing have – I could bring people together, I could inspire people, I could get us working on the same team doing the same job and winning together. That meant they always wanted me around!
If you study the life of anyone who is a great leader, you will find they are inevitably surrounded by other great leaders. That is not an accident, that is not a quirk of nature. That is something that they deliberately did. I know pastors who love to send their leaders to Bible Colleges – outsourcing their leadership training. Why would you outsource the most important thing you could do? Why would you send people to be looked after by people who are not pastors for a couple of years and then expect them to come back to you as pastors? If you are the pastor, bear fruit as a pastor and raise up some pastors!
Let me tell you something that good businessmen know, but very few pastors know. People are the only asset that appreciate with time. I have got some pastors who have worked with me for years and years, and they are better pastors than they were when they started. My laptop from those days is worth nothing now. My car from back then is now scrap metal. We have gone through a bunch of projectors and cables and so many other things that have worn out, but the people in Tree of Life are better than ever. The leaders are better than they have ever been.
You are not so anointed that you can do your dream alone. This blog post has been inspired by listening to Andrew Wommack last night who said that all leaders must learn to delegate. You must learn how to build a team and build that team. You must find a way to share your dream, and share your scheme with others and then invest in them and build them. John Maxwell says the most important task of leadership is keeping good people, I would say as a pastor it is to build, keep and develop.
Most pastors keep their concept of fruit in the idea of sheep. More sheep means you are a better pastor. But Jesus said bear fruit according to your kind. Your main ministry is to raise up pastors. Evangelists – it isn’t how many sinners you win, it is how many evangelists you birth. Apostles stop focusing on planting churches and plant the dream of church planting in the hearts of others. It will both lighten your burden and enlarge your dream at the same time – and that cannot be a bad thing.
When someone says to me they are a fivefold ministry, “hello, I am a prophet” – my first question is how many prophets have you produced? If the answer is zero, I am not going to start proclaiming you as a great prophet yet.
You should be surrounded by great people and be making them great leaders and then greater leaders. Great leaders produce leaders that produce leaders! I know that leaders who produce leaders win in life but those who do not, and even outsource their leadership development fail. Selah.
What is your plan for the leaders around you? Are they growing? Are they helping lift your load? Consider this. Next time, we will answer the simple but vital question of how do you know who are the potential leaders around you to develop.