It is a truism that the more people you lead, the more leaders you need.
As the size of your group, organization, church, or company grows, so does the need for more character-filled, Christ-centered, and competent leaders.
It is also true that a leader’s ability to identify and develop new leaders will either make or break him or her as a leader. Some leaders seem to have an intuitive ability to make good choices. Some, looking back, realize they have made very poor choices in selecting and surrounding themselves with leaders—leaders who ultimately set back the entire operation to a place where it is seriously hindered from being able to achieve its purpose. You can find everything from small groups to multinational corporations in this dilemma.
The Clean-Up Crew
The one thing a leader does not want to do is spend their time cleaning up the messes left by leaders who should have never been chosen in the first place or who should have been released “a year ago.” I spend a good deal of time praying for wisdom for myself and other leaders I work with to make good choices in future leaders with whom to share the vision.
I am currently in touch with a church that is going through a very difficult time because a promising leader is choosing to do some things that have the potential of splitting the church right down the middle, causing great harm to numerous people. The “clean-up crew” is working overtime!
Meditating on Acts
A little while back, I meditated on Acts 1:24, where we find the early church needing to make a choice about future leadership. It says, “They prayed and said, ‘You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen.'” The early disciples understood two things:
- God knew people’s hearts, and they didn’t.
- They didn’t have enough wisdom on their own to make the right choice.
I personally struggle with how they went about their choice to pick a replacement for Judas, but I admire their acknowledgement that the sovereign God knows the hearts of all leaders and their dependence on him for wisdom in making the right choice. Choosing and investing in future potential leaders is one of the most important tasks leaders face, as a lot is at stake.