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Mining for Leaders

We read today again from Larry Osbourne's book Sticky Church about the training and finding of leaders.  In Larry's book he used the term of a pool by which to get leaders from, which sounded almost like Mitt Romney's "binder" statement.  When I think of discovering leaders though I look at the process as being more related to the mining process.

There seems to be two standard forms of mining.  There is what is called surface mining, where the materials being mined are taken as they come as surface levels are removed.  Sometimes it takes many layers to be removed before a deposit is found, but it is focused more on looking from the top down to what comes up to the surface.

Then there is what is called underground mining, where the materials are dug for through a series of shafts and tunnels.  The materials are not on the surface but rather understood to be underground and just need to be found beyond what the surface ever provides.

There are some great points of application in understanding mining and how it relates to finding and developing leaders.  In both processes of mining, there are specific tools that are necessary for that type of mining to occur.  Where there are tools that are more effective in surface mining as contrasted to underground mining.  Each tool has its purpose and yet they both accomplish the same end result: mining.

So also in the finding of leaders.  There are tools that we can use that will have a surface impact in finding new leaders, then again there are also tools that will cause us to dig deeper with individuals for them to find their true calling in the body of Christ.

Some of the tools may include a spiritual gift inventory, which I would suggest relates stronger to surface mining than underground.  SGI's are great to use as they give indications based on personality traits and interests for how the Lord has gifted someone to serve in the body of Christ.  They are not a tool though to be used in a deeper understanding of someone's calling.  They may lead someone to have a deeper pursuit, but they shouldn't be the final say for an individual.

A person's relationship with Christ and how it is expressed is one of the tools that helps in the underground mining for someone to find the treasure of serving the Lord.  This is something that a few questions just can't get you, instead finding that treasured calling from the Lord is a valuable experience and comes through growth in the Lord.  Just as there are many things to consider when putting in a mine shaft, there are also great considerations and counted costs that need to be understood when someone is seeking out their calling as well.

If you are a leader that is seeking more leaders, you can use the two tools to be indications of how someone is prepared to be a leader.  They may have taken a spiritual gift inventory or PLACE assessment, but you need to let that be the initial surface interaction.  To determine if someone is ready to serve, you need to understand their calling as well as where they are in their relationship with Christ.

This isn't going to happen through an open recruitment call to the church about the need for a leader.  Instead this is going to happen through personal interaction and discussions with potential leaders.  Find what works best in your context to determine potential leaders, whether its through training opportunities or through discerning through SGI's and then move to the personal discussions about how the Lord may lead them.  This is what is excellent about the PLACE ministry in that it involves personal coaching that takes place.  It then creates a more solid interaction in placing that person in leadership in that the underground mine has been processed and they are prepared.

I would love to hear from you of other ways in which you find leaders in your church context.


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