Lessons from a Small Town Pastor
A pastor or church planter in a small town who wants to make a long-lasting impact on the community will need a strategy to develop good leaders. What should you be looking for?
Leaders Who Are Reliable
Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:1-2 to, “Entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” You can't "entrust" things to people without knowing you can trust them! And this is not something you can learn in an interview.
Finding out if people are reliable takes time. You have to invest in them and watch to see what they do with what they've been given. Jesus said that those who are given more are those who have been "found faithful." Don't skip this simply because you really want them or need them. These are people, God's people, who are being led, and He wants reliable people leading them.
Leaders Who Love Your Small Town
If you bring leaders in from the outside without vetting them for your context, you are playing a dangerous game. A love for your small town is imperative for everyone who is a leader on your team. Snarky comments and cynicism that come from someone who feels ‘stuck’ in your small town will cause long-lasting damage to the ministry you are trying to build. If they don’t love your small town, don’t give them a platform from which to trumpet their poor attitude.
Leaders Who Love Your Church
Leaders who don’t share your vision for the church you are leading can be very harmful. However, many pastors and church planters I meet don’t have a clearly defined philosophy of ministry or a process of making sure potential leaders agree with it. If you are only looking for doctrinal alignment, things will get ugly fast. There …