‘Lead’ is the mindset of a serving believer growing strong in all aspects of church leadership. They have made a decision to believe, discovered what it means to be a Christian, redeemed their life in submission to Christ’s teaching, and established a life devoted to continually growing in wisdom and service. As established believers, they recognize that the local church is always growing and in need of leaders to accomplish that task. For the church, this is a continuation of strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith (Acts 14:22), with an eye toward preparing potential elders and missionaries (Acts 14:23) remembering that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus (Mt 28:18), and he has entrusted this authority to the Church. From the standpoint of the serving believer, this is the process of growing in all aspects of church leadership. The serving leader doesn’t know that they will become an elder or missionary, but by growing and maturing as an established and serving disciple of Christ they know that the local church will continue to grow and plant other churches or go and make disciples of all the nations. They know that leaders must be prepared and trained for leadership in the church, both locally and globally.
‘Lead’ is the next step in the discipleship cycle. In the context of ordered learning where discipleship is cumulative, it is important that any discipleship curriculum ensures that a serving believer can grow in all aspects of church leadership because we know that the church will grow, and plant other churches, and elders must be appointed in every church. An effective curriculum will enable the serving believer to continually grow and be transformed (head, heart, and hands) in a community context and with accountability.