God uses a multitude of environments to develop leaders, but there is nothing like the church. Because the whole world is His, the Lord can use any environment to develop and mature His people, but the church is the best at developing leaders for at least four reasons
The church is divinely designed to endure and develop others. Christ started His church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome her. Nations, organizations and institutions will come and go, but the church will endure. As the church endures, the church will disciple and develop others. God has designed and commanded His church to make disciples. Developing others is in the church’s DNA. We are not reverse-engineering development into who we are.
Heritage of Development
We are a part of a long and beautiful lineage of God-followers multiplying. Moses developed Joshua, Elijah trained Elisha, Paul invested in Timothy and Jesus focused His ministry on His disciples. The church was birthed in a discipleship paradigm, a culture where rabbis invested in their disciples. God’s people have always multiplied. The faith has always, by God’s grace, been transferred from one generation to the next, from one person to another. Developing others is deeply connected to what it means to be a Christ-follower. We are Christians because others have shared the gospel with us. We have matured because others have helped develop us.
Focused on Character
Research continually shows that character matters. For example, the recent leadership book Return on Character is based on research that reveals better performing companies are led by leaders who are seen as being filled with integrity, compassion and forgiveness. While some business analysts push for ROI (return on investment) metrics, the authors believe that a case can be made for ROC (return on character).
Eric Geiger serves as the Vice President of the Church Resource Division at LifeWay Christian Resources. Prior to LifeWay, Eric served local churches, most recently investing eight years as the executive pastor of Christ Fellowship Miami. Eric received his doctorate in leadership and church ministry from Southern Seminary. He is also a teaching pastor and a frequent speaker and consultant on church mission and strategy. Eric authored or co-authored several books including the best selling church leadership book, Simple Church. Eric is married to Kaye, and they have two daughters: Eden and Evie. During his free time, Eric enjoys dating his wife, playing with his daughters, and shooting basketball. More from Eric Geiger or visit Eric at http://ericgeiger.com/