Movement Building
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One Word For Leaders–Multiply

Math MachineI have often complicated the leadership development process by focusing too much on content and not enough on developmental experiences.

The safe thing about focusing on content is that it gives me a sense of control, albeit false. But the primary function of a leader in a movement is to multiply–their faith, skills, knowledge, attitude, etc into the lives of others.

I love seeing leaders poured into but helping them translate what they are learning into the lives of those they are leading offers a huge opportunity. Also any easy way to tell if your leadership team is too large is how many “leaders” are really followers with titles.

The best model that I have been given is:

1. You do it (a leadership role or responsibility) and those whom you are leading watch

2. You do it together

3. They do it alone and you give them feedback

4. You NEVER do it again

I’m exaggerating a bit on the “never” part but what can happen is that the leader of leaders can revert to number two instead of holding the one you are leading to doing it alone. It is a strech for them and tiring for you at times but so worth it as over time their capacity to lead that particular role or responsibility grow. When leaders have followed this process including number four it reinforces for me the need to repeat it with those whom I’m leading.

Movements or ministries that are full of people passing down what they are learning in skill and heart seem vibrant and bursting with growth. Would you agree?


  1. I think that’s a good rule of thumb B. Even though it’s probably over simplifying things, it captures what needs to be happening within leadership relationships and future leaders.

    Love the “followers with titles” label – Amen. Followers with titles usually don’t even know what they’re actually following because they lead out of the illusion of leadership created by their views on titles and position. If they peel back the title-colored glasses I think most would be pretty bummed to realize that they may have done more following than leading.

    • for sure dude. i think everyone has a moment when they realized they were following titles and positions instead of the mission, vision, and values or their own passions/giftings, etc.

      that’s the point for me when we can really start to lead thoughtfully in our ministry. but it seems difficult to get there.

      have any thoughts why?

  2. Good stuff Brian! Thanks for this.

    This is an easy way of approaching and assessing student leadership development. Are we walking through each of these steps with them, such that they truly are more than ‘followers with titles’. This is probably one of the biggest factors between ministries that are thriving and those that are simply surviving.

    • agreed guy. i would love to see more ministries get to a place of thriving, not just surviving on campus.

      developing a solid leadership core is crucial to getting to this place as you mentioned.

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