Miles Welch Developing Next Generation Leaders

Category / Pastoral Ministry

Leadership inevitably involves wrestling with insecurity. Lack of clarity, team conflict, uncertainty, past failures and many other factors can undermine leadership confidence. Here is the problem: insecurity erodes our ability to be strong Kingdom leaders. Insecure leaders use people instead of serve them, obsess over the wrong things and allow fear to undermine progress. 

In 1 Timothy 1:12, Paul writes, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he has considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service.” During moments or seasons of insecurity, these three phrases of scripture can instill fresh leadership confidence.

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I have served as the architect and leader of our residency program at 12Stone Church for the last 12 years. When I started, there were not many other churches doing anything similar, but now residencies are becoming more common. To clarify, I mean church-based programs that help the next generation of young pastors develop leadership skills through on the job experience, coaching and leadership training. The purpose of this post is to encourage more church leaders to consider starting residencies. 

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Spiritual leaders often fail to establish healthy boundaries. Most leaders can’t distinguish between “pouring themselves out” for others and lacking boundaries, but it is important that we appreciate the nuance. When we have healthy boundaries, we can “pour ourselves out” for the long haul. As you read the list below, ask God to give you discernment on how to establish healthy boundaries in your life and ministry. 

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Years ago, God asked me to say four short prayers as often as I thought of them: ‘open my eyes,’ ‘enlarge my heart,’ ‘use me’ and ‘rescue me.’ I have prayed them literally thousands of times as I go through my day, while sitting in planning meetings, counseling leaders or congregants, and even while teaching. Though short and simple, God has used each of the four prayers to help guide and grow me as a leader. In this series of posts, I’m writing in depth about each prayer. I encourage you to pick up God’s challenge to me by committing to pray each new prayer as often as you think of it. Today we will dig into the fourth: rescue me.

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Years ago, God asked me to say four short prayers as often as I thought of them: ‘open my eyes,’ ‘enlarge my heart,’ ‘use me’ and ‘rescue me.’ I have prayed them literally thousands of times as I go through my day, while sitting in planning meetings, counseling leaders or congregants, and even while teaching. Though short and simple, God has used each of the four prayers to help guide and grow me as a leader. In this series of posts, I’m writing in depth about each prayer. I encourage you to pick up God’s challenge to me by committing to pray each new prayer as often as you think of it.  Today we will dig into the third: use me.

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Years ago, God asked me to say four short prayers as often as I thought of them: ‘open my eyes,’ ‘enlarge my heart,’ ‘use me’ and ‘rescue me’. I have prayed them literally thousands of times as I go through my day, while sitting in planning meetings, counseling leaders or congregants, and even while teaching. Though short and simple, God has used each of the four prayers to help guide and grow me as a leader. In this series of posts, I’m writing in depth about each prayer. I encourage you to pick up God’s challenge to me by committing to pray each new prayer as often as you think of it.  Today we will dig into the second: enlarge my heart.

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Years ago, God asked me to say four short prayers as often as I thought of them: ‘open my eyes,’ ‘enlarge my heart,’ ‘use me’ and ‘rescue me’. I have prayed them literally thousands of times as I go through my day, while  sitting in planning meetings, counseling leaders or congregants, and even while teaching. Though short and simple, God has used each of the four prayers to help guide and grow me as a leader. Over the next few posts, I’ll write more in depth about each prayer. I encourage you to pick up God’s challenge to me by committing to pray each new prayer as often as you think of it.  Today we will dig into the first: open my eyes.

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I wanted to share Wesley’s ’12 Rules for Preachers’ because I find them valuable for a couple reasons. First, they provoke thought. I don’t entirely agree with all of them fully, but they make me think. Second, they provoke self-reflection. When I read the rules, I become more aware of my own lifestyle. I’m praying they serve you to process your own life in ministry.

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Young leaders are dependent on experienced leaders to create an environment where they can thrive and grow. This post is designed to help you think through three gifts you can give to the young leaders in your church.

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One of my great joys in ministry is overseeing the 12Stone Residency Program, training up the next generation of church leaders. Nathan Benefield, a resident who serves in our Student Ministry department, will be sharing his leadership wisdom on the blog today.

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