As pastors, church planters, and church leaders, developing new leaders is one of our most important tasks. Leaders provide structure to a church community. As the church grows, the leadership capacity of the church has to grow, too, or there won’t be enough care and support for the rest of the community. We want to make sure that every new person who comes into our churches feels welcomed and invited into community and discipleship, and we won’t achieve that unless we are replicating ourselves as leaders.
New leaders aren’t created haphazardly or by accident. If we don’t really know what we’re doing, then chances are the leaders we are trying to train won’t really know what they’re supposed to do, either. Raising up effective, healthy leaders means you’re going to have to devote some thought, planning, and prayer to the project.
Fortunately, the Scriptures give us the perfect model for leadership development in the ministry of Jesus. He intentionally focused in on a few specific people among his many followers, and he worked closely with them so they could learn how to do everything he could do.
Based on Jesus’ example, we’ve outlined a process to follow so we can train leaders the way he did. We even have an acronym for it: IRTDMN. Here’s what it stands for:
“IRTDMN” may not roll off your tongue right away, but it is surprisingly useful. Many of us in the Vineyard have even started using it as a verb, and as silly as it might feel to ask “so who are you IRTDMNing,” it sure helps to have a simple, standard process to refer back to. When you are working with potential new leaders, the IRTDMN process helps you come up with a clear plan of how to train each of them to eventually be able to lead on their own. The acronym also helps you check in along the way to see that you haven’t missed any steps, or gotten stuck at one stage.
Because IRTDMN is such a handy tool, we’ve put together a booklet explaining it. I encourage you, take it and use it like a handbook. Give it to all your leaders. Talk to each other about it. And best of all, start doing it.
We never want our churches to stop growing, both in numbers and impact on our cities, towns, and neighborhoods, because we never want to stop reaching people with the incredible, transforming love of Christ.
IRTDMN charts a clear and dependable route to creating new leaders so our churches can continue to permeate the world around them with the freedom of God’s kingdom. So…who are you IRTDMNing?