Have you ever said to yourself – “If only we had more leaders, we could (fill in the blank)”? Have you wondered why more men are not involved in leadership in the life of your church? Here is a simple truth: if you want more leaders, you need to develop more. But how do you build men as leaders?
In 2 Timothy 2:2, the apostle Paul tells Timothy, “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”
Start by looking for faithful men
Keep your eyes open for men already living surrendered to God. Observe the health of their marriage, their family, and the work they are doing. Throughout the Scripture, leadership is more about character than talent. We often make the mistake of putting men in leadership before their character is ready for it. People get hurt when leaders are not already growing in faithfulness in the everyday spaces of their life.
One of the keys to finding faithful men is simply asking God to open your eyes to see who is already around you. There are men in your church and connected to your life who faithfully follow Jesus, but maybe you have not paid much attention to them before.
Invite them into your life
Once you have identified some faithful men, you need to invite them into the same spaces where you are. Maybe you ask them to help you with a project or join a men’s group you are leading. You can bring them into your life in many different ways, but you need to take the initiative.
There is a purpose in this step. This is your opportunity to deposit what you have learned from others about what it means to love God and follow Jesus. You have something to offer this faithful man – your wisdom and experiences. Think of this as a friendship more than a formal class. Paul saw Timothy as “his son in the faith.” They spent time together, and as they did this, Paul’s influence was shaping Timothy.
Give the faithful man opportunities
One of the biggest mistakes we make in ministry is to passively wait for someone to fill out a form or raise their hand to say they are interested in helping to lead.
Over and over, the story of Scripture is how God taps the shoulders of men and calls them to himself and to do something in service to him. The disciples of Jesus started to follow him because he called them, not because they thought it would be a great idea to walk away from their jobs to follow a rabbi.
Yes, there will be some men who volunteer for specific roles. But there is something powerful about one leader entrusting leadership responsibilities to another. When you affirm a man as faithful and invite him to take on more leadership responsibility, you speak to his heart. It is profoundly encouraging when a man experiences another man believing in him.
The need to reach more men with the Gospel of Jesus is great. Think about how many men are in your church. Now think about how many more men are in your community. If you feel overwhelmed, you should.
Your men’s ministry is not about the men you are reaching today; it is about the mission field of men all around you.
God created you and me with limitations. These limitations mean we cannot do this mission alone. We need to build up other faithful men who can partner with us in the mission to see more men become, grow, and live as disciples of Jesus. Taking the time to develop more leaders is critical if you are going to be faithful in your calling as a leader.