We started a camp for senior teens called Disciplemakers-in-Training (DIT) where we nurtured them in being disciples who made disciples. We worked with a small group of interested students. It included aspects of leadership and camp leadership but we were careful to make it about being disciplemakers first and foremost. The camp leadership came second.
Too often in churches we get hung up on needing leaders. “We need more leaders for the youth or the Sunday school or the men’s ministry or the women…!”
And so we get people to do gifts assessments. Which are a fun tool but don’t always translate into people using their gifts. If they aren’t already motivated to grow and serve then they don’t necessarily want to use those gifts. Sometimes we guilt them about how God gave them these gifts to use and if you don’t then He might take them away. For some people that would be a relief.
What we really need is more disciples.
If we have disciples we actually need less leaders. Yes, because if someone is a disciple then they often are doing the things that leaders either are struggling to get them to do or as disciples they are better equipped already for leadership. The leadership process is simplified if people are already active and growing as disciples who make disciples.
A disciple is often ready to be trained for a challenge or a specific gifted role in leadership. Disciples are “lovers and learners of Jesus” and who better to lead?