Summary: Making Disciples; Making a Difference How to Be an Intentional Leader, part 5

Making Disciples; Making a Difference

How to Be an Intentional Leader, part 5

John 20:21; 17:18

We started the series asking what is a win for the church? We saw that Jesus clearly defined the win for us as making disciples. But if we are going to make disciples then we need to know what a disciple looks like. So we defined a disciple as someone who knows and follows Christ; a disciple is being changed by Christ; and a disciple is committed to the mission of Christ. Then we looked at a disciples’ stages of growth – the spiritually dead or searching; the spiritual infant; the spiritual child; the spiritual young adult, and the spiritual parent. Then last week we looked at the three keys to making disciples. We saw that Intentional Leaders + Relational Environment + Reproducible Process = Multiplying Disciples. Today we want to look more closely at what it means to be an intentional leader.

1. Intentional Leaders Imitate Jesus (John 20:21; 17:18)

Making disciples is what Jesus did and told all of us to do. When we started this series, making disciples was not on some of your radar screens. Maybe you are realizing for the first time that it is your responsibility to make disciples and you wondering how? That is why we are doing this series, the monthly training, having you follow along in the manual, and having the Life Groups follow along with the series. We are not creating a program; we need to think in terms of people not programs.

 Live with a purpose

Jesus lived with a purpose, discipleship was the compass that directed his life and advanced his mission. He intentionally sought to lead and influence others so that when he left they could carry on after him. Intentional leaders’ lives are centered on making disciples – whether that be their children, their friends, their co-workers, or their neighbors. Jesus was highly relational but all of his relationships were purposeful.

 Focus on a few (Mark 3:14)

Jesus ministered to the crowds but he focused his time and energy on the twelve disciples. It is much more fruitful to be intentional with a few rather than relational with the many. Jesus poured his life into the twelve disciples, was even more intimate with three, and even more intimate with one. He had to go to the cross but without his focus on the few, His mission would not have gone forward. Disciple makers are intentional with a few rather than relational with the many. All of us have only so much time, emotional and spiritual energy, and relational capacity for so many people. It is much more fruitful to be intentional with a few than be relational with the many. Some of us need to be more focused on fewer relationships.

2. Intentional Leaders Evaluate the Players

 Assess maturity level

Intentional leaders evaluate where people are in their growth process so they can determine what they need and help them get it. What do they need to know or understand? How is Jesus wanting to shape their character? Are they serving in the body and in the world? Are they discipling others? This requires us to know those we are discipling, to be in relationship with them. It requires us to be present with them, not distracted, not thinking about something else when we are with them. It also requires we be present with the Spirit; be sensitive to the Spirit. I want to give you three questions that will be very helpful for you in conversations with people, not necessarily literal questions to ask but to have in the back of your mind - Where are they? Where do they need to go; what is the next step? And what do they need to get there?

 Assess potential gifts

Intentional leaders recognize undeveloped gifts in people and develop them into reality. They recognize potential leaders, someone who has the ability to influence others and are intentional in cultivating that leadership gift so they can be more effective.

3. Intentional Leaders Create Environments for Growth (Eph 4:11-14)

 Encourage service

Intentional leaders create opportunities for their disciples to serve or play. Jesus calls us to be players, not spectators. Serving produces players not spectators. Serving helps disciples identify and develop gifts but also helps them to mature. All of us need to understand our role in the body and in the world. We have something to contribute to the body and to the world.

 Coach for growth

Intentional leaders coach disciples. Coaches or mentors teach, model, and challenge. A coach or mentor develops priorities and a plan to develop a disciples gifts, capitalize on their strengths, and improve upon their weaknesses.

Takeaways . . .

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