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Think about the churches Paul planted. Within a matter of months, he would leave the young church in the hands of new leaders, most of whom had just become believers. He felt comfortable putting such leaders in charge because they had learned how to operate the church through watching and engaging with him. They were not the strongest candidates to lead a church. They had not been believers for very long. They had not undergone extensive training on how to handle every possible scenario they might be presented with… but Paul trusted them. Or, more pointedly, Paul trusted God with them.

So, how did Paul get these new leaders ready? What kind of requirements and standards to he put in place for them? Only one – that they watch what he was doing and do the same. In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul tells the young Corinthian leaders, “and you should follow my example, just as I follow Christ.” He called on these believers to serve as apprentices, knowing that when they had, they would be ready to be leaders.

Activate: An Entirely New Approach to Small Groups by Nelson Searcy; p.65