We can’t just disciple potential young leaders, we have to release them. Then we have stand back and let them do ministry the way God is leading them to do it.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote a blog post, Hey, Boomers! Let’s Step Up And Be The Elders The Church Desperately Needs Right Now, which received a lot of feedback – most of it very encouraging.
But there was some pushback as well. All of the criticism expressed the same viewpoint: today’s youth may need to have elders in their lives, but it’s impossible to find any who are truly willing to be discipled.
So why is there such a difference between my experience and those ones? And what can we do to find teachable youth?
I think it comes down to three primary factors, all of which have more to do with how we, as elders, approach our role than how the youth behave or how they feel.
What’s wrong with today’s younger generations? I hear that question all the time. Especially from my fellow Baby Boomers. The quick answer? Nothing. Nothing is wrong with the current and upcoming generations that hasn’t been wrong with every previous generation. With one possible exception. They don’t have the elders and mentors that almost every previous generation …
We need a serious attitude adjustment about the value of mentoring.
Small churches don’t have to mentor, we get to mentor!
If we want to feel sorry for anyone, we should feel sorry for the big churches. They have too many people to mentor, so they’re stuck using curriculum. (Not really, but it’s nice to think about, right?)
“What discipleship curriculum do you recommend for small churches?”
I get asked that question a lot. And my answer almost always disappoints the questioner.
We don’t use discipleship curriculum in our church.
I’ll get to why – and what we do instead – in a moment. But first, I have a question.
How well does your church disciple believers? If you’re like most church leaders, you probably feel like you don’t do it as well as you’d like to.
Behind every great church, large or small, is at least one pastor who has been there long enough to outlast the bad times and build on the good times.
It is the most common thread for great churches. Pastors who stick around.
But pastoral longevity has its dark side too. The tendency to become stale.
Every time I talk about the value of long-term pastorates, as I did in last week’s post, Small Church Ministry: A Stepping Stone Or a Place to Stand?, people remind me of horror stories about churches that withered into ineffectiveness because a pastor stayed too long.
That’s a reality which can’t be ignored, so today’s post is about that dark side – and how to overcome it.
I am an unapologetic fan of pastors and churches finding, training and building leadership teams from within our churches, instead of hiring them from the outside. Yes, there are exceptions to that, especially in larger churches, when there may be a need for ministers with some very specific skillsets. But in a Small Church, building …
Does your Small Church have a discipleship system in place? Most don’t. Mine doesn’t. We used to. But we quit doing it years ago. It didn’t work for us. We were using a well-known discipleship curriculum from a megachurch, that we adapted to our Small Church. We did it because everybody – and I mean everybody! …