The lack of vision to train up their own leaders has greatly held back the multiplication of good leadership in the church. Many churches lack any real vision to train their own people to do the work of the Lord largely because of two reasons:
(1) Leadership training facilities like seminary teach students very little about how to train others. They expect new leaders to go through their halls. As a result we have a generation of leaders who lack this vision.
(2) The local church willingly perpetuates the separation between the experts (the clergy) and the untrained (laity). They expect the hired person to know the right things about running the church. This enables them to sit back with less responsibility.
Tradition plays a large role in dictating expectations for a church. The church needs to remember that this tradition of university and seminary trained pastors has no scriptural precedent.
Before the modern educational movement, large numbers of the common people were illiterate. the clergy in many cases were the only educated ones. Because they alone could read and 'interpret' the Bible, they stood separate from the rest of God's people. In most cases, this is no longer true. The Lord has brought His Word close to the life of each believer. Training is now available at prices most people can afford if they desire it. We need to carefully examine the scriptures to observe improved patterns for training new leaders.
Although the church is not yet prepared or trained to develop her own leaders, this generation of church leaders needs to start innovative programs by which they produce their own leaders. The great abundance of specialty training programs should strip away any existing fears of inadequacy. Home-grown leaders are largely protected from pride of knowledge and degrees. They are able to develop character quality, practical skills, a cooperative spirit, and dependence upon the Lord and His Word.
Something special happens when a church accepts her responsibility to raise up her own leaders. The church sees the need to begin to implement training at each and every level. Those who are trained at one level move up to the next. The last levels of training are for various kinds of church leaders, including full-time workers.
For some churches this is not new. In fact, some of the best equipped churches actually have such a vision for training. It is being done with remarkable success.
God wants to create that flow within each of our churches. Our vision must look ahead to training servant leaders for our own churches as well as for reaching the lost around the globe. It will not happen immediately. Step by step we must retrain ourselves and our people, and begin to put the necessary training in place.