Five Steps for Training New Leaders

By Peter Meier   |   June 1, 2018

One of the basic tasks to undertake in multiplying new faith communities is training new leaders. Training new leaders isn’t rocket-science, but it is an absolute necessity for these new leaders to succeed in their ministry areas.

Jesus Himself gives us a simple and highly useful model for training leaders. He invited His disciples to simply follow and observe him. He demonstrated ministry for them – modeled it and then sent them out on short trips to do the ministry. Even after He ascended into heaven, He continued to teach and nurture them through the Holy Spirit as they carried out the ministry and passed it along to others.

It is important not to confuse information with training. Training is often thought of as a class. People want training in evangelism or discipleship, but often they think of a class or a program. A class is not training, its informing. Training involves actually doing the task, participating and experiencing what is being passed on. This can be done formally or informally, but is often best done informally by means of hands-on-experience.

There is no better model for training than the one Jesus Himself used. There are five basic steps involved.

Step One is for you, the leader, to do the ministry yourself. You need to be able to do it before you pass it on to another leader. The new leader must see the behavior in your own life and ministry before you can expect to see it in them. This is basic. Learn to do the specific ministry yourself. Disciple yourself by being in the Word daily. Listen to Jesus and follow Him yourself. Do the work of an evangelist. Start with you!

Step Two follows. You do the ministry, and they watch. This is simply show and tell. Explain the why, the what, the how and let them watch you in action. Look for teachable moments. Encourage their questions. Ask them questions to make sure they understand what you’re doing. Keep it simple and understandable.

Step Three invites them to do it with you. Invite them to lead the discussion. Involve them in doing the ministry alongside you. Ask them to pray, to push on the edges of their comfort zone. You’ll be alongside to encourage, to help, to equip them. Nurture them. Challenge them. Walk with them. Teach them to rely on God’s help, rather than on your presence. Discuss what happens and how they think things are going as their faith is stretched and their comfort zone expands.

Step Four sends them to do it on their own. You may go with and watch, but they’re ready to solo. You’ve already set them up for success by preparing them, doing it with them, answering questions, and praying for them. Let them give it a try. Spend time evaluating and mentoring after they’ve done it themselves. Teach them to self-evaluate. “What could have been better? What did you feel good about? Where do you need more work? Where do you want to go? How will you get there?”

Step Five is multiplication! You send them to train others. They may not feel ready. Here’s where a coach might be helpful – either you can coach them, or connect them with another coach who will help them to deploy and multiply. You can discuss with them who could be trained and help them to prepare for this exciting step.

Following these simple steps you will find yourself reproducing and multiplying new leaders for ministry. That’s what leadership and discipleship is all about!

Which of these steps are the easiest for you? Which challenges you?

The Center for United States Missions is here to help you equip disciples who multiply faith communities. That includes discipling and releasing disciples to be the leaders God has created them to be! You can do it! How can we help? 


Mission Moments is the e-newsletter sent by the Center for U.S. Missions to bring information and encouragement to all who desire to share God's great love in Jesus Christ with others. Permission is given to copy this article for distribution within your congregation or organization. Please credit the author and the Center for United States Missions. For more information contact the Center at (952)-221-0362, or visit our website:

Center for U.S. Missions – Contact Information

Email us at: | Rev. Dr. Peter Meier, Executive Director;  | Rev. Eric Wenger, Director of Mission Coaching;| Kathy Meier, Coordinator;  | Mil Behnken, Office Manager;