How leaders can grow in the skill to challenge people to grow

Good leaders don’t only tell you WHAT to grow in; good leaders but motivates you personally with WHY and coaches you with HOW to grow further.  Can you do that?

Be encouraged and equipped as you listen to Dale Cilliers sharing his experience on challenging people to GROW FURTHER.


Hebrews 5:11-6:3

5:11 We have much to say about this [Melchizedek], but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 5:12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 5:13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

6:1 Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,6:2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 6:3 And God permitting, we will do so.

Observations and reflection questions

Note: The author of Hebrews challenges the laxness of this congregation and exhorts them to grow up spiritually.

  1. What is the general tone of the author in this text? And what is his appeal?
  2. What seems to be the main reason the congregation has not grown to maturity? (verse 5:11)
    1. What does this suggest about a key reason for spiritual growth?
  3. The author gives one motive for the congregation to grow to maturity – what is it? (verses 5:14)
  4. List the “elementary teachings about Christ” (verse 6:1-2)
  5. What do you read in his closing words on this topic? What does the author try to communicate? (6:3)

Personal reflection and application questions

Reflect on the six doctrines the author of Hebrews lists as “elementary” and “foundation”.

  1. Consider your own life. Which of these doctrines can you confidently explain and teach on (from Scriptures) without much preparing? Which teachings would require more preparation time? Find a good article, teaching or book about this during this week to makes sure your foundations are solid.  Pray for your further growth in Christ.
  2. Now consider your fellowship group within its cultural and spiritual environment.
    1. Which of these doctrines listed by the author of Hebrews is lacking in your small group’s faith?  Pray for discernment.
    2. What other doctrine or foundational practice are they lacking in?
    3. How would you challenge them to grow spiritually? Like the author to Hebrews consider the WHAT / WHY / HOW with ENCOURAGEMENT.

Leaders must grow in the skill to delegate responsibility

Healthy leadership leads to growth, resulting in increased organizational load for the leader which at some point will impede the leader’s ability lead effectively – unless the leader grows in the skill to delegate responsibly.


Exodus 18:13-24

13 The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. 14 When [Jethro] his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”  15 Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. 16 Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.”

17 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20 Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. 21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”  24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said.

Observations and reflection questions

Note: After Moses lead the Hebrews out of Egypt, Moses’ father-in-law Jethro brought heard of it and came to Moses in the wilderness.

  1. What troubled Jethro about Moses’ leadership style? And what was the risk?
  2. Ironically, what was the thing that caused Moses to be overwhelmed? [hint: God’s gift and God’ will]
    1. What was the promise of Jethro’s counsel? (verse 23)
    2. What do you learn from this about leadership, obedience and stewarding your gift?
  3. In your own words, what were the qualifications of people Moses were advised to assign responsibility to, in order to lighten his load?
    1. Instead, what were the three things ought Moses to focus on? (verses 19-21)
    2. What do you learn about leadership, obedience and stewardship from this example?

Personal reflection and application questions

Moses was an extraordinary transformational leader with profound wisdom and endurance, so the people were naturally drawn to him for counsel, but the workload drained him and impeded his leadership function. He had to learn to delegate leadership responsibility and empower trustworthy people in solving less critical matters.  This ensured progress towards the vision and his personal preservation.

  1. Consider a major personal area of leadership or responsibility.
    1. What were you called to do or entrusted with primarily? Pray about this now and write it down.
    2. What do you do best, and what do you enjoy doing most?
    3. Which non-core tasks are you responsible for which other trained people can do just as well as you do?
    4. Whom in your group can you train and entrust to do these essential but non-core tasks, to lighten you load and ensure better progress in your vision or project? Pray and write down names and future responsibilities.
    5. Make dates to talk through these things with these people.
  2. For fellowship or Bible study groups, assigning “Prayer Friends” to encourage and support one or two people is an excellent way to ensure the care and welfare of the whole group, while lightening the load of the small group leader.
    1. In your group, who is capable and faithful to do such a thing? Pray about this now.
    2. Whom should they walk a road with, and what would their responsibilities be?
    3. When will you talk to them about this?

Leaders need to grow in the skill to challenge people to grow

Good leaders don’t only point the way, but inspire and challenge followers to grow further. And indeed, there is a real need to grow.

In this short video Dale Cilliers helps leaders to challenge others in their personal growth.


2 Peter 3:10-18

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.  That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. 14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.  17 Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Observations and reflection questions

Note: In this portion Peter exhorts and motivates persecuted believers to continue to grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, in light of his return and judgment.

  1. How does Peter conclude this letter? What is his appeal? (verses 17-18)
  2. Considering the context, why does he close this way? (note verses 11, 14, 17)
  3. What do you understand when he writes “grow in… grace… of Jesus”? (verse 18)
  4. What do you understand when he writes “grow in… knowledge… of Jesus”? (verse 18)

Personal reflection and application questions

  1. “Ïn this world we will have trouble” Jesus said.
    1. Consider your own life. In what area do you need to grow to ensure that you do not fall into deception or into fail courage to remain faithful to Christ?  Pray about this.
    2. Now consider one person in your fellowship group or Bible study whom you know well – in what area do you need to grow to ensure that you do not fall into deception or into fail courage to remain faithful to Christ? Pray about this.  How will you challenge and encourage him or her to grow in Christ?

The Character of a Leader: how to grow in Christ-like humility

There’s an easy and a hard way to grow in humility, says the writer of Proverbs.  The easy way is for honest confrontation of your friends (Proverbs 27:6, 17). The hard way is the consequence of your arrogance.

Before we reflect on an illustrative incident from King David’s life, look at this helpful video on how to grow in Christi-like humility (


2 Samuel 16:5-13

5  Now when King David came to Bahurim, there was a man from the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei the son of Gera, coming from there. He came out, cursing continuously as he came. 6  And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David. And all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. 7  Also Shimei said thus when he cursed: “Come out! Come out! You bloodthirsty man, you rogue! 8  The LORD has brought upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the LORD has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son. So now you are caught in your own evil, because you are a bloodthirsty man!”

9  Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head!” 10  But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse, because the LORD has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ Who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’ ” 11  And David said to Abishai and all his servants, “See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the LORD has ordered him. 12  It may be that the LORD will look on my affliction, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing this day.” 13  And as David and his men went along the road, Shimei went along the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, threw stones at him and kicked up dust.

Observation and reflection questions

Context: King David was fleeing from his son Absalom when a Shimei, a descendent of the late King Saul cursed and attacked him fiercely, charging him with the blood of Saul’s house.

  • Picture King David, an heroic fighter on the move during civil war, surrounded by his legendary mighty men. Everyone is battle-ready Then suddenly a delusional man, family of the late king who hunted them down, starts throwing rocks at this regal king, cursing him.
  • What would you expect to happen?
  • What does happen?
  • How long did this go on?
  • What were David’s two motives for letting Shimei continue with the harassment?
  • What does this suggest of David’s character?

Personal reflection and application

David, the mighty warrior-king, restrained his legendary bodyguards while a lunatic hurled insults and curses on him for a whole day, because “the Lord might be saying something to me.” True humility displayed by a great leader!

  1. From your experience, how do people typically respond when they are critiqued or accused of something?
  • How do you typically feel when you are critiqued or accused of something?
  • How do you typically respond when you are critiqued or accused of something?
  • Prayerfully try to discern WHY you feel and respond this way.
  • What would be a wise, mature response when you are being critiqued or accused?

2. Send this letter to your three closest friends, and continually ask them for a response until you get it. Then thank them for their love it:

“Dear ______.  I consider you an honest friend who knows me well.  I really want to grow in character and I need your input.  Please answer the following three questions as briefly and honestly as you can.  I know that without your honest input I will probably remain stuck where I am, so help me see myself!

(i) What is my greatest relational strength?  What sets me apart from the rest?

(ii) What aspect of my character is my “Achilles heel” – my weak spot where i am most vulnerable, where I can most easily be taken out?  And do you have a tip on how I could grow in it?

(iii) You’ve known me for a while.  Have you observed a destructive pattern in my life which I might be ignoring? Do you have ideas on how I can get rid of this pattern?

Thank you for your courage and honestly  _______. I consider myself blessed having you part of my life!”

  1. When your friends send through their answers, pray that you may hear God speaking through them.  Afterwards make an appointment with each friend – allow them to speak into your life in these three areas they mention. Don’r defend yourself! Learn and grow!


Thank God for friends who love you enough to speak the truth.  Ask the Lord to speak clearly through them – tell God that you want to grow in Christ-like humility.