One of our primary responsibilities as leaders is to make other leaders. Tom Peters is credited with saying, “Leaders don’t create more followers. They create more leaders.”

Often the process used for creating more leaders looks like the teacher-pupil model. The teacher talks, the pupil listens and then the pupil tries to put into practice what she has learned.

As we develop our world-class apostolic center at HRock, one model we will follow to create leaders is the apprentice-journeyman model. Both the Old and New Testaments contain many examples of this model. We call it discipleship.

A variation of this model (based on an old work proverb) is captured in the book Exponential:

  • I do. You watch. We talk.
  • I do. You help. We talk.
  • You do. I help. We talk.
  • You do. I watch. We talk.
  • You do. Someone else watches.

Apostolic centers use this model to help create the tsunami wave of revival that is being prophesied. Worldwide evangelism will not be achieved by the roughly three percent of us who are in full-time ministry. There’s just not enough of us to go around.

Thus, a primary focus of apostolic centers is to make disciples who are capable of making other disciples.

Similarly, as leaders, one of our areas of focus should be on creating leaders (steps 1-4) who are capable of creating other leaders (step 5). But to make this happen, it requires an investment of our time in people.

It is not enough to talk at people and hope they “get it.” We must create meaningful relationships with potential leaders that provide the environment of trust necessary to develop an effective journeyman-apprentice relationship. (A journeyman is one who has mastered a skill, and an apprentice is one who is learning how to master a skill).

Creating journeymen is not an overnight process.

At Southern California Edison, an apprentice must pass six steps before becoming a journeyman lineman (among other things, linemen work on live electrical wires). The apprentice learns from the foremen and he receives classroom instruction, but his primary “teacher” is a journeyman and the primary method of learning includes the four-step process outlined above.

We can increase our influence as leaders by using the journeyman-apprentice model to create other good leaders.


Speaking of leading well, I will be attending the upcoming LeaderSHIFT Conference 2015, collecting more nuggets of leadership wisdom from some of the best leaders in the world (literally). See you there!

Greg Wallace is the Chief Operating Officer for HRock Church in Pasadena, Calif. He loves teaching and helping others pursue their life’s passion. He is passionate about developing leaders, building organizations and helping people and groups thrive in the midst of change.