In His book, The Leadership Dynamic, Harry L. Reeder III makes a compelling point about training and developing church leaders. He observes:
In November 1965, Lieutenant Colonel Harold “Hal” Moore Jr. and the U.S. Seventh Cavalry’s First Battalion were engaged in one of the opening battles of the Vietnam War. Surrounded by an estimated 4,000 North Vietnamese regulars at a jungle clearing called Landing Zone X-Ray, Moore’s 450 soldiers were taking searing fire from all sides. Even with crucial American air support, his outnumbered troops faced annihilation.
Moore was determined that his men would survive, however, and he directed a heroic defense in what proved to be one of the fiercest battles of the war. He and his soldiers repulsed repeated assaults and inflicted severe casualties on the enemy until his battalion was finally relieved by reinforcements. The dramatic story is told in the 1992 best seller, We Were Soldiers Once…and Young, which was made into an acclaimed motion picture.
Moore won the army’s highest award, the Distinguished Service Cross, and eventually rose to the rank of lieutenant general. He was renowned for his superb leadership skills. A scene in the movie captured his foresight and grasp of leadership principles when Moore’s character, a squad leader, who had been unceremoniously “killed” in a training exercise.
“You are dead,” Moore declared. “Now, who do you have ready to take your place?” The scene reflects both the reality of warfare and a key element of leadership: great leaders always prepare to reproduce and multiply themselves” /1
Brethren, can I ask some firm, but loving questions? Where do elders come from? Whom are we training to serve as future shepherds of the Lord’s flock? Who will be ready to take the reins of leadership when a brother steps down, moves, or passes away?
1/ pp. 67-68