The Leadership PathThe
following is an excerpt from our new book EXPONENTIAL:
How You And Your Friends Can Start A Missional Church Movement

that will be on shelves in 16 days, but you can order
right now.

“So how can I expand my influence and grow my leadership around here?”  That was the question Brad asked as we sat down across from one another in a booth at Panera to talk about his leadership at Community.  It’s not everyday that a potential leader tosses you a softball question like that, but you gotta love it when it happens.  I particularly like it when it comes from a guy like Brad who has huge leadership capacity.  I grabbed a crumpled up napkin and answered his question by scribbling the illustration you see to your left.

“Brad, the first step is for you to become an apprentice leader.  And I’d like for you to be my apprentice in the small group that I lead on Wednesday nights.”  This meant that we would lead this small group together, and over the next 6-18 months I would connect with him regularly until we both believed he was ready to lead a group on his own. 

I went on to explain that when Brad began leading his own group, he would then take on a new apprentice and reproduce new leaders.   He would eventually coach.  As a coach he would bring alongside himself one of his best leaders and train him to become a coach.  After he reproduced another coach he could move into a director role and perhaps a staff position in our church overseeing hundreds of people by working with his coaches and leaders.  I told Brad that if he had the passion, I saw in him the gifting to be a campus pastor or a church planter who could impact thousands and perhaps tens of thousands one day through a network of church planters .

The answer to Brad’s question was not complicated; in fact it was simple enough to be scratched out on a napkin. Yet it was challenging enough that Brad could give the rest of his life pursuing that goal.  Before we finished lunch Brad said “yes” to become my apprentice and started on his leadership path.

As you look at the scribbles on the back of my napkin you might think, “Hold on that looks like some kind of multi-level marketing scheme; that just looks like Amway for Jesus!”  Not at all!  This is a life-on-life relational process for apprenticing leaders in the Jesus mission. This is the same way that Jesus did it.  Look how Jesus called the twelve apostles in Mark 3: “Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him.  He appointed twelve- designating them apostles – that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.“ (Mark 3:13-15)

The change in the apostles wasn’t just in what they could do, it was a change of who they were. Their minds were transformed from naive and ignorant about the real mission of Jesus to a new understanding of the power of his gospel to change the past, present and future.  Their hearts were reshaped; instead of a self-centered love for me and mine, it was replaced with a love for those who were lost, lonely and least likely.  They went from being a group of grind-it-out, one-day-at-a-time working class guys who were sometimes timid and often afraid to being a team of bold and courageous leaders who “turned the world upside down.” (Acts 17:6) 

As I invited Brad into this apprenticeship I followed the same process Jesus followed:  Selection, Expectation, Preparation and Graduation.   I was confident that I would see the same change in Brad, my apprentice that Jesus’ witnessed in his apprentices.  To expect anything less of an apprenticeship would be less than what Jesus expects.

How You And Your Friends Can Start A Missional Church Movement

will be available in bookstores.  You can order it online right now.
You can also join myself and Jon for a 30-day conversation on our new
book where you will get content drops, videos and additional question
and answers through Daily Digital.

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