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The Biblical Basis for Leadership Development


Welcome to Coaching Christian Leaders.

I have a question for you.

Are you frustrated with a lack of leadership?

Maybe you want to start a new ministry – but there’s no one to lead it.

Or you look at your current ministries – say your small groups or children’s ministry – and you note that they always depend on the same few people.

That’s dangerous because you are one disgruntled family, one upset person away from the ministry without leadership.

Or maybe you have the people but they never take initiative. They never lead.

If you’re frustrated with a lack of leadership, I understand. I’ve been there. But I’m digging out that hole and I want to share with you how you too can develop leaders.

My name is Mark Jones and I help pastors develop leaders.

Here’s a story that happened to me about a year ago.

I lead a small rural church and I have thee elders.

They are great guys. They love and support me. I really value their insights. But they are getting older. In fact, every one of them is retirement age.

I tell you their general age because it is important to the story.

About a year ago I was in an elders’ meeting.

One of the elders said in the meeting, “We aren’t getting any younger. We need some new elders. Who can we ask?”

Before anyone could answer, another elder chimed in, “We also need some new Sunday School teachers. Who do you think we could ask?”

These men made two important observations and each asked an important question.

They identified a need – new elders and new Sunday School teachers .... And they asked a good question – “Who can we ask to fill this need?”

Their observation and their question pointed out a problem our church had.

Here is what I mean -  when you are looking around a congregation hoping to identify a new leader you are NOT doing ministry the right way.

The wrong way to do ministry is to just do church. We were just doing church. We were not intentionally developing disciples. We were not developing leaders.

When you’re just “Doing Church” one Sunday rolls into the next.

You walk out the door of the church on Sunday. The service is over.

Everyone goes their separate ways.

Then you return again next Sunday and do it all over again.

You do this Sunday in and Sunday out. Week in and week out. And before you know it a year or two have passed and you have done nothing to develop leaders.

Sure you’ve preached some sermons and taught some classes, but you have not developed future leaders.

If you just do church, then this is what happens when a leadership need arises - You either have no one to plug in or you plug anyone in.

If that’s you – You’re just doing church, then this podcast will help you.

Together, the two of us, you and me, we’re going to create a simple leadership development system. So grab a notepad and something to write with and let’s get to work.


Today, our first step in Leadership Development is to look at the Scripture and to answer some questions about the current state of our ministry.

These are the three passages we will look at.

  • Matthew 28:19-20
  • Ephesians 4:11-12
  • 2 Timothy 2:2

They’re all familiar passages.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

When do I look at the Great Commission – Matthew 28:19-20 I have a question – What is a disciple?

Jesus has commissioned every church – your church and mine – to make disciples. So what’s a disciple?

  • A disciple is basically a believer in Christ.
  • A disciple is a follower of Christ.
  • A disciple is a student of Christ.
  • A disciple is one who makes Jesus’ teaching the pattern for life.
  • A disciple is someone who is being transformed daily by Christ.

The reason I point out Matthew 28:19-20 is the fact that Jesus has called us to make these disciples. The church is commissioned to seek out and develop disciples.

Leadership Development is nothing more than discipleship with purpose. With discipleship, you are moving an immature believer to that of a mature believer. You are moving them from baby food to adult food.

Leadership Development rides on this discipleship track.

The Great Commission is giving the church its purpose or mission – To Make these disciples.

Here’s a question for you: What is your church currently doing to make disciples? What is your process? What are your methods of discipleship?

Take a minute, pause this episode, and answer those questions. Here they are again.

  1. What is your church currently doing to make disciples?
  2. What is your discipleship process?
  3. What are your methods of discipleship?

All of these questions are similar. Think about it this way. If someone showed up at your church tomorrow and at the service put their faith in Christ, how would you move that person from a New Believer to that of a Mature Believer? What would be the steps? What are the essentials you would teach that person?

Now Look at Ephesians 4:11-12

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,

You know this passage. God has given gifted individuals to the church for a purpose – to equip believers for the work of ministry.

In that list of gifted people can you can find yourself? You are most likely the pastor or pastor-teacher.

Why did God give you to the church?  – to equip believers to do the work.

That word – EQUIP – is translated “perfecting” in the King James. The idea of the word is to SET RIGHT like you set a broken leg.

But I want you to think of it this way. When you Equip you are putting something in order. You are laying down a process. You are creating a system.

A pastor creates a process or a system that trains the church members to do the work of ministry.

What is the result of this pastor-led system? It is the building up of the church.

Okay here are some new questions.

  1. How are you equipping your church members to do the work of the ministry?
  2. What’s the system?
  3. What is the current outcome?
  4. Or how many leaders are you producing every year?

Think about it this way.

You have a process of discipleship that takes an immature believer and moves them toward maturity. As they move along this discipleship track, how do you identify potential leaders and begin to train them for ministry?

One more passage – 2 Timothy 2:1-2

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.

Over the years many pastors have told me that 2 Timothy 2:2 is their life verse.

That’s great! It’s great to have a life verse.

It’s even better when we live out our life verse. So let’s look at the verse and ask some questions to see if you are doing what the verse is instructing.

What is Paul doing in this verse?

He is giving Timothy a mission. And that mission is to build multi-generational leaders.

Paul taught Timothy and many others to do the work of ministry. Paul trained Timothy knowing that someday he, Paul, would be gone. But the work would go on.

In Matthew 28 it was “Make Disciples”

In Ephesians 4 it was “Equip believers”

Here in 2 Timothy it is “Entrust faithful men. But it’s more than that. It is to entrust faithful men across multiple generations.

Paul taught Timothy. Timothy teaches others. And those others teach others.

I have a question for you. Take a minute and answer it. - What system do you have in place to train the next generation of leaders?

Paul gave Timothy a mission – to train multiple generations of leaders.

And God is calling you and me to do the same.


So lets you and I do that.

Together let’s develop a system, a process, that will make disciples, that will equip leaders, that will develop leaders, not just one generation, but two, and even three generations deep.

I’ll speak to you next week and we will begin to do just that.

Closing Thoughts

Before you go. I want to tell you about the upcoming Christian Leaders Mastermind.

What’s a mastermind? It’s a group of pastors, missionaries, and other Christian leaders who meet together to discuss ministry issues.

Imagine sitting in a virtual room with 8 other experienced pastors. Sharing your idea or your problem and getting concrete, practical feedback from these leaders? That’s a mastermind.

I offer Masterminds twice per year and I would love for you to be a part of one.

In future episodes, I will go into greater detail, but if you want to know more now, just go to for more information.

This is Mark Jones and I’ll talk with you next week.

Please share this episode with others!