The greatest need of our time is more effective leadership. It is sheer folly to think that the people who led us well during Modernity can give us the same quality of leadership in the postmodern/pre-Christian world. Churches need to pour more time, energy, and money into training than they do construction. For more the issue of leadership see my new book Leadership On The OtherSide, by Abingdon.
Most leaders, including pastors and staff, will be grown up from within the congregation, bypassing the formal seminary of today. We are entering a time when the emphasis upon denominationally accredited professionals is being replaced by an emphasis on people with personal authenticity, spiritual integrity, and effective leadership. Most mainline churches used this method prior to 1950 and most independent churches have been doing this for decades. Ginghamsburg UMC reached an agreement with its Bishop to allow them to train and empower Licensed Pastors lay pastors to perform funerals, weddings, and baptisms.
A farm system beginning with Junior High that identifies and begins nurturing for leadership those upon whom God has laid his hand.
A farm system that identifies recently converted adults. The further we go into the 21st century the more adults over 18 will become the focus of conversion and baptism. Churches must learn how to harness and empower their new found passion because they will know best how to communicate with non-Christians.
Churches need to organize around a lay mobilization system that focuses on harnessing and empowering people’s God-given abilities.
The role of paid staff is to equip and inspire. Staff will ask “Who will I mentor today instead of not what must I do today?” “Who will I discover today instead of what is my job description?” “How many others can I equip instead of how much can I do?”