The Relationship of OIT Leaders and Lead Pastors

Jeff Ludington

December, 2017

If you or your church are engaged in Organic Outreach fully then you probably know what an Outreach Influence Team (OIT) Leader is. If not, this person oversees the leaders of each ministry by helping to equip them to lead their teams keeping “the lost” of the world in focus. Two years ago Generations Church (where I serve as lead pastor) decided to never lose sight of our mandate from Jesus to love and share the gospel with those who don’t have a saving faith in Him. 

My first step was to find the right leader for this role. Since no leader is perfect, I had to discern what the qualities of a good OIT Leader are, and how the relationship with me would work. Let me give you two qualities I think are important:

1) They must be an “equipper” of others, not just a “doer”. The OIT Leader role is all about equipping leaders, so they keep their ministries focused on reaching those outside the church while doing the day-to-day ministry they already do. This role leads best by training and equipping in practical ways, keeping the value of evangelism infused regularly into each leader and ministry at least every 30 days. The authority to lead this team is needed, but it doesn’t have to be a staff role or “office” like an elder or pastor. Many OIT Leaders are volunteers or part-time staff.

 

"Since no leader is perfect, I had to discern what the qualities of a good OIT Leader are, and how the relationship with me would work."

 

2) The OIT Leader does not need to be the best evangelist; it is often better if they are not! It is hard to follow a leader who is naturally gifted in an area that is tough for many of us. It is much easier to follow a leader who is committed to evangelism, has a commitment to it, but is more relatable, and can be “in the trenches” with others instead of so far out ahead. Those who are not such natural evangelists (and are equippers) function well in this role as long as they are self-motivated and willing to get out there and begin to love some people who are not believers yet. A relatable leader who is committed to this is a huge asset.

Now, how do the two roles function in relationship to one another? Being a lead pastor, my posture is key. If I submit myself (as a leader over ministries) to the OIT Leader (as a leader over a team) and I become a person on the team accountable to the OIT Leader like everyone else, then what I am doing is giving the authority needed to lead to the OIT Leader so they can lead this team, and equip the ministry leaders. This is a huge value to me as a pastor because I have someone I trust equipping my staff, elders, volunteers, and others, in an area that they need. It is no longer one item in a list of many … many … things I need to do! It is being done by someone I trust. 

For Generations Church, having a great OIT Leader means never having to worry that this ministry is cared for, allowing me to focus on ministries I oversee and reaching out to those in my life who don’t know Jesus. 

Jeff Ludington is the Lead Pastor of Generations Church in Los Alamitos, California. Pastor Jeff is also a Certified Organic Outreach Cohort Leader.

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