By Micah Fries: One of the most influential ways to multiply your church is to start small. First, start off meeting with 2-3 people every week to develop and mentor them. After a year, have them sign a covenant for each individual to take another 2-3 people under their wing. In just a short span, you can mentor an entire community, area, and state.
Here are three elements of multiplication within church development. Leading a church of thousands of people is great, but it can be far more influential to mentor three people every week and multiply that influence each year.
1. Relational capital should be invested in a hierarchy of priority.
It’s important to make investing in leadership development a priority. You need to specifically identify some key leaders and pour yourself into those key leaders. Scripture commands us to do this in Ephesians 4. God calls us to have unity in faith, depth of knowledge and maturity, the ability to minister to others, and to be built into the measurement of Jesus. All of these things are contingent upon church leadership to multiply and invest in others. Invest in those specifically capable of influence and leadership.
2. Invest specifically in the next generation.
Invest in those younger and less experienced leaders who have the ability to grow into your position. We can look into Scripture to see the way Paul taught Timothy. Develop some official mentoring relationships to raise up people who can be leaders in the church.
These relationships don’t have to be cost dependent. A majority of the churches do not pay their interns. Ask people in the church who show leadership capability if they’d be willing to engage in an intern or mentoring relationship. Create in your church a formal church-based theological education partnership. Find a way to fund church-based education to help men and women in your church to grow in their relationship with God. Create personal discipleship relationships. Be able to name 2-3 young adults that you are meeting with every week to disciple them and ask them invest in the next generation.
3. Hand off responsibilities within the church as quickly as you can.
Delegation is key to a role in ministry. It’s important to know which tasks you must do and which tasks can be delegated to someone else. There are few responsibilities in the church that cannot be handed off. Let someone else lead the meeting. Pass off responsibilities to volunteers. Ask other leaders to do what you’re doing. Have them be able to identify who they are discipling.
Develop a pattern of passing off ministry responsibilities to help multiply church leadership.