Why Released Leadership Matters.
The idea of releasing leadership is built into the mission statement of Fellowship Bible Church of NWA: We exist to produce and release spiritual leaders who know and express the authentic Christ to Northwest Arkansas and the world. We define a “spiritual leader” as a maturing disciple with a ministry focus. Essentially, a spiritual leader is someone growing in faith and apprenticeship to Jesus and who commits to serving God in a focused area of gifting. Of all of the things a church could focus on, why releasing leaders?
1. Every follower of Jesus has been gifted by the Holy Spirit.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. – Romans 12:6a (NIV)
The Scriptures affirm repeatedly the gifting of every believer. If you are a Jesus-follower, then the Spirit has given you gifts. Wayne Grudem helpfully defines a spiritual gift as any ability that is empowered by the Holy Spirit and used in any ministry of the church. All believers have something to offer because the Holy Spirit is working in them.
2. Every gift is needed for building up the church.
So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachersto equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. – Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV)
Paul wrote that the purpose of leadership was to equip all of God’s people to serve so that the church could be built up. This was God’s plan for our health and maturity. One leader doing all the ministry does not lead to a healthy and mature body.
3. There is so much work to be done.
“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” – Matthew 9:37 (NIV)
With seven billion people in the world, there is so much ministry to be done, and a constant need for the church to equip and launch more workers for every field.
4. A mobilized body gives glory to Christ.
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. – 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NIV)
When one person looms large in ministry, it is easy to focus on the talents and gifting of one individual. However, when an entire body or family of faith is working for the good of our community and world, it becomes clear that God is at work. In the body of Christ, every member matters; no member is more important than another. We all serve one Lord Jesus. Released leadership highlights this truth.
May God alone receive the glory. Amen.