Discipling Your Staff: Invest in the Kingdom

Discipling Your Staff: Invest in the Kingdom

This post is part of our How to Disciple Your Staff Series

Early on in my ministry, many people invested in me. Specifically, I was invested in by the leadership, my direct report, lead team members, and even the pastor. While each person invested in me in different ways, I learned something valuable from every one of them. Along the way, as I continued to serve, I found myself transitioning away to other churches and ministries. Over the following years, I had the opportunity to serve back at my home church. I had the opportunity to serve with some of the people who invested in me while leading in a different role. And I had the opportunity to serve under the leadership of someone I had previously invested in. Each of these experiences helped me understand that when you disciple your staff, the investment is well worth the time. While you may not be thinking of it as an investment beyond your current context, it almost always is. Regardless of how much time you have to influence those you lead, take the moments you have and disciple those you lead well. You never know what the future may hold. Perhaps you will serve with this person again in a different capacity. Even more critical, you will be influencing the various churches in which the individual may serve next. And even more important than that, you’ll be making a Kingdom impact with your investment. Let’s examine the three ways discipling your staff creates a ripple effect in ministry.

Invest in the Person.

You can’t control how long you serve with the people on your staff, but you can control the experience they have serving with you. Prioritizing discipling the leaders serving with you will ultimately grow them as a leader and help them grow in Christ. We talk a lot about leadership pipelines these days in the church. While this is a vital topic, one of the primary ways we influence our leadership pipeline is through discipling our staff. Developing leadership skills is imperative for personal growth, but it still comes in second place to developing the individual as a passionate disciple of Jesus. All too often our efforts focus on the latest self-help or executive skills of our staff while neglecting their spiritual growth. Sure they will learn from the sermons and their small groups etc., but discipling them ensures that they are growing and receiving needed accountability. Recent ministry failures of high profile leaders illustrate just how critical this need is for church staff. You can be one of the most proficient leaders in ministry and neglect the most crucial aspect of personal growth – maturing in your relationship with Christ. Invest in the people you lead.

Invest in the Church.

While discipling your staff will take time, this time is invariably recouped as an investment in the church in which you serve. This investment is a significant side effect of discipleship as a whole: every investment we make when we disciple grows the church deep and spurs on mature believers to replicate the process with others. While the church is unlike a typical business organization, as staff leadership invests in discipling those they lead, that investment trickles down into the depths of every ministry and relationship each leader has. The church then benefits from maturing disciples who understand and obey the Great Commission. As church leaders, we steward our serving opportunity most effectively as we make disciples who make disciples.

While the church is unlike a typical business organization, as staff leadership invests in discipling those they lead, that investment trickles down into the depths of every ministry and relationship each leader has. Click To Tweet

Invest in the Kingdom

When those we invest in with discipleship leave and go to serve in other churches and ministries around the world, we get the privilege of having Kingdom impact that transcends our specific community. What a gift it is to be able to impact not just the individual, and not only the church in which we serve, but the whole Kingdom of God. With Kingdom-mindedness, unselfish leaders understand that while most staff relationships are temporary, the Kingdom of God is eternal. We want to make an eternal impact for the Kingdom, and the only way to do that is to join Christ in the mission of making disciples of all people. Even those we are closest to in life and ministry.

Discipling your staff is an investment that transcends the current situation. Whether those you lead serve with you for a short time or decades, the investment is worthwhile and necessary. Take the opportunity and make the time for an investment that impacts the individual, the church, and the Kingdom of God.

Discipling your staff is an investment that transcends the current situation Click To Tweet

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Chris Swain currently serves at Long Hollow Baptist Church as the Executive Director of Replicate Ministries. After fours years of service in the United States Marine Corps, Chris served in full-time ministry for 14 years in Arkansas, Florida, Texas, and Georgia, leading ministries ranging from Students, to Collegiate, to Spiritual Formation. Most recently, Chris served as the Director of Student Ministry Publishing at Lifeway Christian Resources serving the Church in its mission of making disciples. Chris’s heart is to expand the Gospel through disciple-making in the local church.