Key Bible Text: 2 Timothy 2:2—And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. (NIV)
Leaders 1 Fruitful workers acknowledge emerging leaders early in the process of building a community of faith.
Fruitful workers acknowledge the leaders who emerge naturally during the formation of a faith community. They support those who are recognized by the community rather than choosing leaders based on their own culturally developed understanding of leadership.
Leaders 2 Fruitful workers mentor leaders who in turn mentor others.
A mentor passes on skills, character, and wisdom to a developing leader. Fruitful workers also guide the mentored leader to mentor others in the same way, as described in 2 Timothy 2:2.
Leaders 3 Fruitful workers encourage leadership based on godly character.
Leaders in fruitful, expanding communities meet the criteria that focus on godly character described in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. While such communities select their own leaders, fruitful workers support and encourage the community by looking for emerging leaders with godly character.
Leaders 4 Fruitful workers are intentional about leadership development.
Leadership development should be intentional, but its format is often non-formal. Fruitful workers provide personalized leadership development in one-on-one, natural settings, rather than in classrooms.
Leaders 5 Fruitful workers use the Bible as the primary source for leadership development.
Fruitful workers do not depend on outside resources to develop leaders, as these rarely apply to the local context, they are not easily transferrable, and they lack the authority of Scripture. Instead, fruitful workers use Scripture as the primary source for leadership development. To do so requires a thorough understanding of the local culture.
Leaders 6 Fruitful workers prefer to develop leaders locally.
Fruitful workers prefer to develop leaders as locally as possible. If it is not possible to train leaders geographically locally, then it is more fruitful to train leaders within local culture and local social norms. When leaders are trained outside of the local setting, they can find it difficult to return. The further their training is from local life, the less likely it is that they will return and readjust well.
To assess your team on these Fruitful Practices, we encourage you to use our team assessment tool.