There seem to be two extremes in terms of church leadership:
1. Leaders who love Systems
2. Leaders who trust the Holy Spirit
I notice when leaders talk loudly about the one, they whisper about the other. That’s too bad.
Jesus relied on the Holy Spirit while using a system to produce disciples.
Today we’d call his three-year “disciple-making system” a small group, discipleship development, mentoring, or missional ministry. Whatever the label, it was a system. His system moved men from unbeliever to follower-of-Christ to missionary.
The final essential step? Wait in the Upper Room for the Holy Spirit.
A system doesn’t replace the Holy Spirit it positions people for the Holy Spirit. It seems the Holy Spirit considers systems a friend.
If systems were unimportant to Jesus, when he first saw the disciples he would’ve sent them straight to the Upper Room.
Though you can’t manufacture spiritual growth, you can position yourself for spiritual growth.
The key is recognizing the ways God tends to grow people’s faith.
I agree with Andy Stanley’s teaching that there are 5 ways God chooses to grow people’s faith: Biblical teaching, Providential relationships, Private Disciplines, Personal Ministry, & Pivotal Circumstances.
Other than pivotal circumstances, we can position ourselves into these spiritual growth environments. We can listen to Biblical teaching, join a small group, have a daily quite time, and serve in a ministry.
Church leaders should create strategic systems that lead people into spiritual growth environments.
Without the Holy Spirit the disciples had no ministry. Without a system the disciples wouldn’t have been in the Upper Room when the Holy Spirit showed up.
Systems don’t produce spiritual growth they position us for spiritual growth.