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I've got to say, after the experience my husband and I had serving at your church, your words on this topic are very important to listen to. You called out leaders and gave opportunities in ways that we rarely see other pastors able to do. It is life-giving for leaders to be sought after by their pastor and given the freedom and authority to offer their gifts, even in the "pulpit". You had an amazing ability to take these kinds of risks on people and the fruit is still proliferating!

Great post! Keep 'em coming! And say more about this...

Please keep these coming, Ben . . .

This is something we're struggling with right now, although I think we're struggling with number 2 and how to engage the high capacity leaders that show up.

I actually wanted to post a comment to your previous post, but you wisely turned off the comment option. Thanks for writing it - that pretty much captures how I always feel when I go to a new church (especially a large one).

Great post. There really are high caliber leaders starving to use their gifts in our churches. As leaders ourselves we are missing the mark if we do not call them into service.

Likewise, I hope you post more on this subject. We have tons of high capacity leaders and definitely under utilize them. Any practical advice would be greatly appreciated on how you engage and unleash them without starting a bunch of new ministries/programs and without trying to make "greeter" sound more critical to the vision than it is.

good stuff ben.

One other thought to your post...

If your church is lacking leadership/good leadership, you will be unable to attract/retain congregations that include high-caliber leaders. If your congregation does not have business owners, managers, movers, and shakers in it's midst, you need to look in the mirror. Good leaders can spot bad leadership a mile away and don't put up with it for long.

On the other hand, if you are the sharpest leader in your midst, you may not be as sharp as you think that you are, because the people who really "get" leadership have already run for the hills. The rest are just "fans".

Make sense?

Brilliant post, Ben! This is something that we have been wrestling with at Cross Point... how to draw out strong leaders. In a church our size they are sitting on the sidelines and we may not even know it... and like you said they need to be asked. Thanks for a great reminder and challenge!

I have a question: Where is the Holy Spirit in all of this? Seems to me that if the Spirit is raising up leaders in the church or is calling people outside the church to come and be leaders in a particular church and these people are not obeying the Spirit, then they are sinning. However, it is up to the Spirit to reveal their sin to them and change their hearts to do what is right. As long as the pastor observes his flock, noting their actions and interactions, and is sensitive to the Spirit's leading, he will find all the leaders he needs in his church. "My grace is sufficient" for whatever else we think we lack.

A more pointed way to say the above is: If having more leaders or better leaders were as important to God as it seems to be to us, we would already have more and better leaders. Self-assessment and image aside, in reality there is always someone better, more gifted, more talented, more charismatic, more _________ out there than I am and than you are. That's why gifting/talent is unimportant when compared to calling, a true Holy Spirit calling. Who cares what I want? Who cares what you want? The real question is "Is this what God wants?" and "Have I/we/this church heard from God on this and made sure this desire is not just my/our personal desires?" The rest is irrelevant. Why? Because if we haven't heard from God clearly, we may end up with a leader who is merely gifted, talented, and/or charismatic instead of one who is lit with the fire of God and who is destined to change eternity for his home, his church, his community, and his world.

These comments crack me up. We are supposed to equip leaders and use them according to their gifts. THAT IS WHAT BEN IS SAYING! "If his gift is leading, let him lead diligently!" This is a different type of stewardship. We are accountable for what we do for His church and for what we allow to be done. Putting a rocket scientist under a rock is like burying your talents.
Keep us on the right track, Ben! We love ya! Big minded people lead to big-minded churches lead to larger than life impact!! Way to go!!

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