Today we continue our chapter-by-chapter blog discussion of the book Church Planting is For Wimps. For those of you who may have just been browsing so far, it is not too late to join in! Simply pick up a copy of the book and start reading. If you have missed the previous posts, please read my thoughts on chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3, chapter 4, chapter 5, and chapter 6.
Mike’s church had grown steadily over the last year and a half, and he and his wife were stressed. Upon meeting with one of his wise pastor friends named Bob, he was told “you are doing everything totally wrong.” While this was a hard pill to swallow, he knew it was true. Both he and his wife were exhausted. They were largely focusing on helping new people assimilate into the congregation. But as his experienced friend told him, Mike should have spent more time training new leaders in the church.
Recognizing the leadership gap at Guilford, Mike began thinking about what this kind of man in their church should look like. His list of qualities basically summarized the biblical qualifications of an elder, so with this in mind he began to plan out how to make this dream a reality. By borrowing Bob’s program, he opened up a time of training to interested men at the church.
And you know what? He had 15 guys at their first meeting. His commitment to them began paying off, and he wound up with a group of guys who were maturing and could be relied upon. As a result, when the church decided to identify new elders and small-group leaders, they already had a group of trained men equipped and ready to serve.
n my mind, this chapter makes a basic yet important point to remember if and when the Lord blesses me with a ministry opportunity. Like Moses, we can run ourselves ragged by trying to do too much. And Bob, like Jethro, gives wise advice in having other qualified men to share the load.
As Mike reminds us, we must not decide who those leaders will be by the standards of the world. He must be a real man:
“Being a real man means being responsible, dependable, humble, and strong. It means pouring yourself out for your wife and kids. It means walking closely with Christ and taking care of people in need” (102).
May the Lord give me the strength to be this kind of a man!
Member, Heritage Baptist Church
M.Div. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary