The vision I have for churches in North America can’t come to fruition through a single leader, though it must begin there. Ultimately, it will take teams of dedicated, trusting, God-fearing, and humble leaders to pull this off.

Integral to the success of the Church I see is teams of leaders who work with – not against – the lead pastor. I envision leadership teams where elders willingly following their pastor’s lead, launch innovative ministry that challenges the status quo, and demonstrate Gospel goodness to those who are yet to follow Jesus.

In this kind of church, elders will be championing the pastor’s pursuit of God, clearing obstacles from his or her path, and making resources available so the ministry can take God-authored leaps into the unprecedented. As they do, they’ll experience God’s faithfulness while growing in maturity.

When pastors are supported this way, they’ll be freed to seek the Lord’s direction, enroll a congregation postured to bring glory to God through their trusting obedience, and continually experiment with outward moving ministry initiatives that brighten a gloomy world.

Churches will be incubators of innovation and “no fault zones,” where bold risks are as common as they are in the Book of Acts, and learning, growing, stretching and becoming is experienced. This growth and risk-taking can really only be experienced when pastors are freed to build other leaders.

–Kirk Kirlin, from the book “Leadership Courage,’ more at


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