The night I found Jesus, I was on my way to take my life at a local park; although I didn’t know it, He was waiting for me at a church close to that park. I walked in, sat in the back of the room and didn’t let anyone see me.
As I bowed my head out of respect for the prayer going on, I heard an older woman pray for “the” young man who was about to take his life. She said, “I know You have a great plan for his life.”
I returned to church the next morning for prayer, then again on Sunday. As I walked out of church, I said to the pastor, “I want to be a pastor someday.”
God really had a plan for my life, and I had no idea He had probably called me to be a pastor since I was conceived. I’m now the senior pastor of a healthy, growing congregation in Glendale, Calif., which my wife and I planted in our living room almost nine years ago. It hasn’t been easy; it has brought tears, heartaches and disappointments, but it has also brought laughter, amazing rewards and an unexplainable satisfaction.
Many people and experiences have marked my ministry, and many have said I pastor a great church. But I would quickly say that one of the main factors that makes my church great is the leadership I have been honored to raise up.
I consider myself a trampoline that God uses to place people in higher areas.
I have a passion for preaching the Word of God, but a greater passion to see others become great and reach higher ground than I have. I consider myself a trampoline that God uses to place people in higher areas. The leaders I have been honored to raise are almost a mirror image of my heart for others. I believe that we have been called to make disciples, and those disciples can and should be better than we are.
This is how movements are made: one-on-one with people. When we develop disciples and leaders, we also create thriving churches. Developing a group of healthy churches with a common goal of serving others, sharing the gospel and pursuing Jesus—that’s how movements gain momentum.
What have I done to raise leaders in our Foursquare movement? How do I go about multiplying myself in others so that the discipleship that starts on an individual level eventually becomes a movement? I try very hard to make the following simple steps part of my leadership skillset. As leaders produce leaders who produce leaders—movements are born.
- Doing what Jesus did: He taught His disciples that He came to serve, not to be served (John 13:1-17). I have great respect for pastors who remember that their main calling is to serve others, not expect people to serve them. I love serving others, regardless of what they can give me or how I can benefit from them.
- Guiding by example: People will only follow someone who sets the example for them (Neh. 2:11-15). They will do what I do and will teach others to do the same; that process becomes an endless cycle of producing leaders.
- Believing in others: We have to see the potential in people and believe that they can do what God has already equipped them to do (Jer. 1:4-5). When people are given the opportunity to see what they’re able to do, it changes the way they serve God.
- Spending time with people one-on-one: When we give undivided attention to disciples, it is easier to mentor and model to them; it is easier to be transparent with them.
If you want to learn more about leading a healthy church, I recommend the book Liderazgo con Propósito (Leadership With Purpose) by Rick Warren. This is an inspirational and helpful tool for all pastors who desire to lead and make leaders. It even speaks to those who want to become leaders as well. Don’t read Spanish? Then pick up Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Church, and work to develop a healthy church, no matter its size.