1.) Pay Attention to What God is Doing in Their Lives
A.) Look for Privilege Responsibility / Balance
As you look to see who might be an emerging leader and as you help the people develop as spiritual leaders there is a key theme that needs to be the foundation for ministry and it is the balance of “privilege and responsibility.” Privilege is simply an opportunity given to someone. In marriage it is the opportunity for physical intimacy. In ministry it is the opportunity for influence and leadership. Responsibility is the rightful pre-requisite for privilege. If you want the privilege of physical intimacy you must take the responsibility of marriage commitment and faithfulness. If you want ministry influence you must take responsibility to serve others as spiritual leaders are called to do. When privilege and responsibility are not in balance then the result is loss of freedom and beauty relationships.
There are three indicators that in a person’s life there is an adequate balance of privilege and responsibility. The first one we call “Time Will Tell” or “TWT.”
1. Time Will Tell (TWT)
“Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?”
It is not possible to determine if someone is faithful in a short period of time. People who have not learned to balance privilege and responsibility or who have not learned Biblical character can “sprint” for shorter periods of time but they cannot maintain a pace for a long time. So if we are quick to appoint people to leadership then we are likely to be disappointed. Many people are able to look mature for a short time but are not in fact mature Christians ready for leadership. “Who” we actually are on the inside can take time to be revealed but in time, it will be.
2. Faithful With Little
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
The second indicator of a person having an understanding of the privilege/responsibility balance is what we call “Little before much.” Jesus said that the person who is faithful in little will be faithful with much and the person who is unfaithful will be unfaithful in much. As a leader watching for what God is doing in the lives of others this is something to pay close attention to. People with Christ-like character are willing to do things that seem “menial” they are not waiting for something “great” before act with faithfulness. As are watching to see if someone is ready for leadership and as you are helping emerging leaders grow giving them the opportunity to be faithful in small tasks is invaluable.
3. Walk with Jesus / Walk with Others
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
Since the ministry belongs to Jesus and we are simply his stewards then it stands to reason that in order to accomplish anything of lasting value we must walk closely with Jesus. In ourselves we have nothing to offer others. What we bring to others we get from Jesus. This is not complex but it is essential.
B. Pay Attention to the Heart Attitudes
In addition to paying attention to signs of Privilege/Responsibility balance in the lives of those you lead it is also important to encourage them towards what we call our “Heart Attitudes.” These biblical values and behaviors are vitally important for individual growth and for overall health in our church community. You can read about these in more depth by clicking this link.
The Heart Attitudes are:
Participate In the ministry of River
Demonstrate an open and honest Life
Maintain clear relationships
Put the success of others ahead of your own
Follow leadership within Biblical limits
Support River Financially
Give and receive scriptural correction
2.) Make Intentional Investments
A.) Simple, Sustainable, Transferrable
Effective mentoring requires paying attention to what God is doing in the life of your group members as well as ongoing, intentional investment in their lives. In order for this investment to be reproducible it must be simple, sustainable, and transferable. Simple doesn’t mean “easy” it means “non-complex.” In order to be effective in their lives and ministries they need to know what the basic of what walking with Jesus and others looks like. This is actually pretty simple. Love God, Love people. But it is difficult to consistently live this way. In addition your ministry model should be sustainable. This means that it doesn’t require certain skills, life situations, gifting, or hard to maintain approaches to ministry. Transferable means that these ministry lessons can be passed on to anyone who is willing to learn and try.
B.) Beliefs, Values, Behavior
“The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”
1 Timothy 1:5
Just as the leader’s lifestyle is based on beliefs, values and behavior these same characteristics are the aim of the leader’s investment in others. The outcome of investment in others should be practical not merely theoretical. This means that the result of your investment in others should show up in love for God and love for others. What we believe about God must shape what we deem most valuable which directs our life choices.