Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Discipleship, part 4
What are you looking for as the outcome of the discipleship you are doing?
Many local churches are simply looking for someone to commit to specific duties and tasks. They are looking for someone to serve, be faithful, loyal, committed, and honorable. Those are all great traits that should be in every disciple. But I believe those to be the soil, not the fruit, of discipleship. Those areas need to be covered in the discipleship process, but it is not the only outcome. We should not be looking for someone who can just follow directions. We need to be entrusting people who can give direction—people we can let off the leash, give some parameters, and then let them run.
Producing leaders, not just followers
The process is training up followers. The product is leaders. If you are not a good follower, you can’t be a great leader. But we don’t want to leave people with the idea that the end of discipleship is being a great follower. The end result should be being a great leader. This means moving a person from doing tasks and leading projects to leading people. Leading people is that next level of discipleship. It is going to take coaching from you. Having someone to help you and serve you is just part of that process, but there should be an extension beyond you—that is how the Kingdom increases.
Side note: Look at the people you are disciplining.
Do you have just one personality you’re working with? Disciples should come in all shapes, sizes, and personality types. If you are working with just one type, that might tell you that the door to discipleship is being defined by certain personality traits and not by someone’s real calling. Ultimately, we want to find out what people’s calling is and empower them to move in that.
To release them to lead people, we are going to have to teach them how to work with people. This can be done in the classroom, but most of those lessons only happen during teaching moments when you pull them aside and teach them to speak calmly, speak clearly, speak more authoritatively, or whatever it may be. Learning how to work with people and lead people is a long-term process. This process requires the disciple-maker to be vulnerable and bold. Discipleship is influencing people for God. If people are not reasonable in working with people, if they aren’t growing in grace, then they are not going to be able to influence others. If they can’t influence people, they can’t lead people. If they can’t lead them, they can’t mobilize them. They don’t need more information; they need first-hand, practical impartation.
Let’s raise the standard of discipleship from merely creating faithful and loyal disciples to creating disciples that we release. We want the character items and the action items to be married. We want disciples to be people we can trust to be on their own, to hear from God, to motivate and lead people. This is how we increase the sphere of our ministry. Look at who you have now and ask yourself: What do I need to put into them to move them to a place where I can trust them to lead people? Raise up people who are responsible; know that God has given them a voice and that they are going to represent God to the best of their abilities. If you get a small group of people who begin to do that in a church, they will stir something up in other people.
If your standard for discipleship has merely been the soil, then raise the standard to the fruit of discipleship—the fruit of not just following, but leading.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!