Christianity is always one generation from extinction. In Judges 2:10 we read these sobering words: “After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.” Each generation must supply the succeeding generations with not only disciples and laborers, but also with leaders. Before our LORD calls each of us home to be with Him, our work is not finished unless we have built and established others in leadership.
Dr. W. Maxfield Garrott, a missionary who served in Japan with the Foreign Missions Board of the Southern Baptist Convention published a message entitled “How Jesus Trained Leaders,” in the October 1941 Quarterly Theological Journal published by the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary . Included in the article were the following four principles.
- That a few workers thoroughly trained are more effective than many superficially trained. THE PRINCIPLE OF CONCENTRATION.
- That the essential training for Christian leadership is character training. THE PRINCIPLE OF PERSONALITY.
- That the most patent instrument of character training is personal association. THE PRINCIPLE OF CONTACT.
- That character training is most thorough and effective when it is carried out under life conditions. THE PRINCIPLE OF REALITY.
Several years ago I met with a friend for several months looking at what the scriptures had to say regarding passing on leadership to others. We looked primarily at four relationships: Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, the Lord and Peter, and Paul and Timothy. From the interactions of Moses with Joshua we discovered twelve examples in their relationship which helped to define Joshua’s development. In all of these, the four principles as described by Dr. Garrott may be observed. These twelve are as follows.
- You must travel with them and spend personal time with them. (Exodus 24:13)
- They must learn to assist you. (Exodus 33:11)
- Give them responsibilities. (Exodus 17:8-10) Joshua was sent to battle the Amalekites.
- Give them a vision for who they can become. (Numbers 13:16) Moses changed the name of Hoshea (Salvation) to Jehovah-Hoshea (I AM your Salvation)
- Let them express themselves. (Numbers 14:6-9)
- Teach them from your responses to life situations. (Numbers 11:28-30)
- Give them duties they are expected to perform. (Numbers 32:28)
8) Wait for the Lord’s confirmation of your selection of leadership. (Deuteronomy
- Commission your successor publicly. (Deuteronomy 31:7)
- Encourage the leader who is to follow. (Deuteronomy 3:21)
- Wait for the Lord to commission them. (Deuteronomy 31:14)
- Lay your hands on them. (Deuteronomy 34:9) Give them a final prayer of blessing, bestowing words of direction and encouragement.
Leroy Eims, in his book “Disciples are Made, not Born,” relates the importance of selection in those whom we train to be leaders. He mentions five qualities that are needed in those we select.
- They have organizational ability.
- They can spot and recruit achievers.
- They have fight and drive.
- They have stability.
- They have judgment and creativity.
We are all called to train those who will follow us in leadership in various areas of our lives. Areas of spiritual leadership are the most essential from an eternal point of view. It is my prayer that the Lord will give you insight into these four principles, these twelve examples from the life of Moses and Joshua, and these five qualities of potential leaders as you are led by the Lord to develop leaders in your lives.