Why Every Pastor Should Have An Apprentice

Who are you developing? It’s a great question. The answer points to either growth or decline. 

Who are you developing? Your answer points to either growth or decline.

I will admit, the first time I was asked to apprentice someone I was extremely nervous. The gentleman was twice my age and had far more life experience than me. What in the world did I have to offer?…but he was willing and so was I. 

An Apprentice.png

In my mind, apprenticing has become an essential tool in a multiplying church. I just can’t seem to find another strategy that fills the same gap, with the same quality, at the same rate. 

If you’re not already convinced, there are 4 reasons every pastor should have an apprentice. 

1. You have to lead on purpose. 

When you apprentice someone, part of their job is to watch you…and ask questions. A great apprentice will pay attention to what you do and find a way to ask "Why?" If you aren’t leading on purpose you’ll be tempted to make something up on the fly. And trust me, there is nothing more frustrating for your apprentice than that. It inevitably won’t line up with your reasoning the next time they ask and that will just create confusion and mistrust. 

2. It means you actually believe the church is growing. 

Investing in an apprentice is betting on the fact that the church is growing, that there will be a need in the near future and you’re getting ready. I would almost argue that if you’re not developing someone, you really don’t have a plan for future growth. 

3. It creates possibilities. 

When people in your church community see that you are investing and developing someone (especially if they’re not only exclusively in their 20s) they may start seeing themselves in that role. So many people in your church are holding themselves back because they believe that pastoral work is reserved for professionals. That’s hurting us, not helping us. 

4. It, by definition, creates a pipeline. 

When you as a church leader model this idea of multiplication, it sets the tone for the entire organization. Once you’ve started investing in your apprentice, how much easier is it to ask the rest of your paid and volunteer staff to do the same?

If you haven't yet read "Exponential" I suggest you pick up a copy. I recommend the leaders on my teams read at least the first four chapters to start.  Apprenticing is a key to your future growth as a leader and the growth of your church. It's worth the investment.