“We pastors are good about challenging people to run, but we don’t give them a track to run on.” —W. Thomas Younger (1929–2003), pastor and Baptist college president, to young pastor Clare Jewell
Clare Jewell’s breakout session on leadership development at the 2020 GARBC Conference is all about pastors giving their people “a track to run on.”
Clare is national church planting coordinator for Regular Baptist Churches and director of Regular Baptist Builders Club. His session, like the rest of the conference, was held online. He spoke from his home in Washington State to pastors across the US, sharing with them what he calls the Timothy Project for developing leaders in local churches and beyond. But he began with an announcement: Regular Baptist Builders Club has a new mission statement, “to fuel the health and reproduction of churches and pastors within the GARBC.” Helping pastors develop leaders in local churches is one way to fulfill this mission.
During the session, viewers participated by chatting and taking three polls presented by moderator Jon Norris, marketing manager for Regular Baptist Press. Clare first asked, “What could your church accomplish if you doubled your number of leaders?” He then segued into “What obstacles do you face in trying to reproduce leaders?” From Matthew 28:19–20, Acts 1:8, and 2 Timothy 2:2, he introduced the pattern that after a time of training, Jesus released His apostles to carry on the mission and to invest in others as He had invested in them; Paul did the same with Timothy. Another way of stating this pattern is “InformationàImitationàInnovation.” Clare reiterated that developing leaders “is central to our mission.”
He presented three phases of developing leaders. In phase 1, the pastor looks for people who are moving rapidly toward Christ and are hungry to grow, and invites them into the process. In other words, he gives them a track to run on. In this phase they will learn whether they can lead themselves to fulfill the expectations the pastor has communicated to them.
In phase 2, after identifying those who lead themselves well, the pastor asks them to consider moving to the next step, leading others. Rather than appoint a task, the pastor asks what God is directing them to do. Clare shared a hands-on apprenticeship model from the Gospel of Mark that prepares new leaders to carry on the mission God has given them.
In phase 3, the pastor evaluates their potential to lead leaders as pastors, missionaries, church planters, campus pastors, and the like. “This is the phase we really need to get people to if we’re going to see a church planting movement develop in the GARBC,” Clare says.
Clare summarized the Timothy Project this way: “In phase 1 you’re expanding them as a person; in phase 2 you’re expanding them in their opportunity to lead other people; in phase 3 you’re expanding their mission.” Throughout the session, he emphasized that giving people a track to run on requires a pastor to be relational in every phase.
Clare ended by asking the third poll question: “If you want me to contact you about talking further about how to implement this strategy in your church, I’d like you to check yes. If not, check no.” Ninety percent checked yes.
For more information about Regular Baptist church planting, Regular Baptist Builders Club, or the Timothy Project, email Clare.