Moses mentored Joshua.
Elijah prepared Elisha.
Paul coached Timothy and Titus.
And, of course, Jesus trained the twelve—especially Peter, James, and John.
The lesson is simple: every leader prepares a leader.
Secular organizations tell us that finding capable leaders is by far the most difficult challenge they face.
Here’s where the church has it over the rest of the world. The Holy Spirit calls leaders for the church. What we have to do is find where the Spirit is working and confirm the Spirit’s work in the other person’s life.
How do we do this?
1. We pray.
This is a work of God, not us. God chooses His leaders, and He chooses them for His reasons. God rarely chooses leaders that impress the secular world.
2. We confirm.
Sometimes, the Spirit’s work can be confusing if the person has no point of reference. Remember Samuel? Eli had to tell him the voice he was hearing was the voice of God calling to Samuel. Our friends need the same assurance.
3. We call out gifts.
Paul reminds Timothy that his gifts were called out as the Apostle prayed for him. Jesus called out the strength of Peter. Sometimes, gifts are so close, they’re hard for a person to see.
4. We trust in small efforts.
Jesus sent His disciples out on small trips before He sent them out in the world. Paul sent Timothy on short journeys before sending him to pastor a church.
5. We bless and send out.
Sooner or later, every little bird has to leave the nest. As mentors, we have to learn to count our success by the success of those we’ve trained.
This is the most critical task before us now. The post-modern church is going to face enormous challenges. Great leaders will be needed—and they need to be in training now.