This article is archived. Some links and details throughout the article may no longer be active or accurate.

As I talk to other pastors about critical challenges they face, I hear a consistent theme: “We need more leaders!”

There is a glaring need for leaders who develop other leaders. This need is not new. Jesus said, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matt. 9:37-38 NKJV). Before appointing 12 disciples, Jesus spent an entire night in prayer.

While conducting research on small groups that effectively multiply, ministry coach Joel Comiskey interviewed 700 small-group leaders from eight different countries. He found two factors were the biggest predictors of whether a leader would develop more leaders. The factors were the same regardless of gender, culture, country, spiritual gift, personality type or socioeconomic status. They were the leader’s devotional time, and how often they prayed for group members.

I know the Lord’s instruction on prayer. I have known about Comiskey’s research for more than a decade. Still, I often spend more energy studying leadership development theory, reading books and hosting meetings than I do simply and fervently praying.

When I pray, God does what I can’t do. When I pray, God stirs and sends. When I pray, the Lord brings people to my attention that I may have overlooked. When I pray, I gain insight on how to encourage and give opportunities to leaders He is developing. May we join in prayer for God to provide laborers like never before!

This Week’s Prayer Focus [5 in 5]

Personal Prayer:

  1. Pray that we as leaders would not be distracted from deep connection with the Lord of the harvest, even by important and good things.
  2. Consider praying a solid eight hours in the next month specifically for harvest laborers. (Jesus did this in one all-night session, so you and I can certainly do it in the course of a month.)
  3. Be alert as you pray to what the Lord shows you about leaders you can serve and help sponsor.

Foursquare Focus:

  1. Pray for Ihsan Özbek (Foursquare national leader of Turkey and regional chair of MENACA), for his continued healing following cancer surgery in January.
  2. Pray for the large Fulani tribe of West Africa, that they will be drawn increasingly to Jesus (whom Muslims call Isa al-Masih), desiring to find out more about Him.

Share your thoughts. See comments below, and add your own.

is the former district supervisor of the Western District of The Foursquare Church.