What Does It Take to Develop Leadership in a Church?

  A Banwaon Believer

A Banwaon Believer

Thriving Churches Need Disciplers


What does it mean to have a “thriving church”? According to Ian Fallis, strategist for the Advancement Team of Ethnos360, a thriving church is simply “a body of disciples making disciples.” 

But to have disciples means there must be teaching, mentoring, well … discipling. Someone has to be the teacher, the mentor, the discipler. Philippians 4:9 shows us Paul’s method: “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things.” In II Timothy 2:2, Paul enjoins Timothy that “the things you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

  New Leaders

New Leaders

The Church Is Born


In 1987, the gospel was presented to the Banwaon people of the Philippines, and the church was established.

One of the chiefs of the village where the gospel arrived wanted the missionaries to go and tell his people in another village. The missionary said, “I’m teaching here. But you’re a believer now. You have heard the story. You go and teach them.” With a little help, that’s what happened. Albert and Lynne Castelijn arrived a few years after this but made this comment: “In this way, we feel a wonderful precedent was set of the Banwaon people taking on responsibility and growing as a fledgling church.”

  Church Leadership and Families with the Castelijns and Their Teammates

Church Leadership and Families with the Castelijns and Their Teammates

Disciple to Leadership


Who would lead the Banwaon church? Who would choose the leaders? Since the qualifications for leaders had been taught and modelled and since the church was maturing and observing men and women functioning as leaders, the leadership for the church was chosen by both the church body and the missionaries. Even so, those chosen were hesitant to take on these positions of leadership. After reviewing the qualifications from Scripture, they responded with this statement: “We’re not sure we can do all that!”

In December of 2017, the Banwaon church officially recognized 12 men and one woman from two separate churches and appointed them as elders and deacons and one deaconess. Albert said, “These godly people have already been functioning for a number of years, using their spiritual gifts to teach, encourage and build up the church.”


The above article was taken from the June 2018 edition of Ethnos Magazine. If you would like to read more about what God is doing among unreached peoples around the world, feel free to: