Jesus said to “go and make disciples of all nations.” One way to do that is to start more classes who will reach, care for, and disciple more people. In order to do so, more leaders are required because it takes more shepherds to care for more sheep.
In order to pursue making disciples of all nations, more leaders are needed. Where will they come from? Should we seek people with passion? Should we seek to discover their spiritual gifts? Should we observe those with potential in our classes? Should we enlist those who work well with people? Should we conduct leadership and personality testing? Should we offer potential leader training classes?
All of these methods could be useful, but they are not enough. Prayer and apprenticing are what are needed. We need to ask God to guide us to those we need to apprentice. Then, we need to train our own replacements! And we need to train our replacements to train their replacements. Now, that’s multiplication! That’s how revolutionary Sunday School is able to begin the task of discipling all nations.
Kent Shaffer offers three suggestions in an article entitled Finding Your Ministry Replacement (my comments follow his suggestions in all capitals):
- LEARN TO DUPLICATE YOURSELF AS A BOSS WOULD. Train people to do parts of your job. Give away what you are not good at. Give away things others can do. Give away as much as possible. Train others, empower them, hold them accountable, and let them soar. Focus on what only you can do.
- LEARN TO DUPLICATE YOURSELF AS A TEACHER WOULD. Teach others how to do jobs that need to be done. Help them prepare for what’s ahead. Pass on what you have learned. Lead them to apply what you teach.
- LEARN TO DUPLICATE YOURSELF AS A MENTOR WOULD. Let them watch you do a task. Let them do a task while you watch. Let them do the task on their own. Lead them to be all they can be. Ask questions. Release their effectiveness.
My favorite part of Kent’s article are the four words: potential, teachable, performance, and sustainable. We should look for potential apprentices who appear to have potential, who are teachable, and who are doers. And they should be able to do it on their own and teach others to do the same.
Pray that God will lead you to individuals who embody those four words. Apprentice them. Release them. Release the revolutionary potential of Sunday School! Be revolutionary!