the weblog of Alan Knox

Helping people who are relying too much on a leader or leaders

Posted by on Mar 8, 2012 in blog links, discipleship | 6 comments

Helping people who are relying too much on a leader or leaders

Sometimes, people become too dependent on one or more leaders among the church. Sometimes people expect leaders to do specific tasks or answer certain types of questions. This kind of dependency is not healthy for the leaders or for others.

In his post “Raising Up Leaders in House Church,” Keith at “subversive1” offers some good advice when this is happening. Keith’s post is actually an email that he sent to someone in reply to a question about “raising up leader.”

While Keith’s answer is given in the context of “house church,” I think he offers some good advice for people meeting in different ways, assuming that any of the questions or interaction is allowed.

For example, at the beginning of the post, Keith writes:

[T]he secret, if there is one, I’d say is to get out of the way and allow the Holy Spirit to do as much as possible. At first our house church always looked to me or to my wife to do everything – answer every Bible question, lead the communion, baptize the people, etc. So, sometimes I would just leave the room during prayer or after worship to let them figure things out together. Other times if someone asked me a question about the Bible I would lean back and say, “I don’t know. What do you guys think?” and allow people to discuss this question without my interference. Sometimes I would ask another person, maybe even a child or a teenager, to lead us in communion, or to read a scripture to everyone. You can do this on the spot, or you can ask them ahead of time if they would do this when the time comes. That way you don’t have to be the one to ask them but they will just do it because you’ve already asked them in advance. The hope being that, eventually, they will feel confident to read scriptures on their own and to take initiative when it’s time for communion, or prayer, etc.

This is only one part of Keith’s post, so I would recommend reading the whole post.

When people are specifically looking to one person or one group to do everything for the church, Keith’s advice is sound: the leader(s) may need to get out of the way. Stop doing what others think you should do. Give others opportunities as well.

What do you think about Keith’s advice? How do you think it would be beneficial to the church and the leaders? Could their be any problems?


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 3-8-2012

    That guy is a kook.

  2. 3-8-2012

    I told my new son in-law,If I were to mentor him, the essence of what we would be doing is this: using my experience as a guide we put his hand into Jesus hand, and then watch him grow, as we walk along side each other and Jesus simultaneously.

  3. 3-8-2012

    I get together with a guy at least once a week to read the Bible and pray and talk. I’m trying to be like Jesus who said “he can do only what he sees his Father doing.” John 5:19. So I try to stay out of the way and follow what God is doing in this guy’s life or my own. This mainly means keeping my mouth shut and waiting and not planning too far ahead.

  4. 3-8-2012

    Sorry. I guess i was responding more to Tony’s comment and not so much your question.

  5. 3-8-2012

    Dan….exactly, thank you

  6. 3-10-2012


    I’ve heard that before. Great post, by the way.


    I like that. Thanks!


    Helping people see what the Father is doing… I like that too.