After much encouragement from a number of sources I’ve started reading The Trellis and the Vine, a book on discipleship by Marshall and Payne. It is an excellent read so far and as my friend Scott said “you will like it because it seems to be what you have tried to do”. It’s a nice complement although I think my practice hasn’t nearly been as well done as the book lays out.
Something I read tonight that struck a chord was this;
…elders and congregational leaders should be active vine-growers themselves before we consider giving them responsibility for oversight. They should be the kind of people who are reading the Bible one to one with others and sharing Christ with their neighbours.
I’ve long thought that people in leadership should demonstrate the ability and passion to disciple others before they are appointed to lead. I guess that is why the apostle Paul is concerned with how men lead their families. If we can’t lead at home then how can we lead a church family? I certainly don’t mean that leaders have to be perfect because we all fail at one level or another, but rather that some evidence of gifting and inclination should be evident preceding a call to lead.
We want to encourage the next generation of leaders and I guess that will involve some careful watching and giving opportunities for discipling now.