The Man With The Plan; The Key Man Plan

The Man With The Plan; The Key Man Plan

“And there accompanied him...”

Acts 20:4

It has often been said that, “If you fail to plan; then you plan to fail.” It is impossible to accomplish the Great Commission of taking the “Whole Gospel to the Whole World” without mobilizing the Whole Church to do the work. This international task force includes every member of the church at every level and not just the five-fold ministry of the church (Ephesians 4:11-12). Eveyone plays their part in fulfilling the Great Plan that Jesus had for the church. We are all part of the one body. The Bible tells us that the “body is not one member, but many.” (1 Corinthians 12:14) Every believer is related to the rest of the body and performs an important function. We all must be willing to complement each other. This is called the “Body Ministry”.

Management and leadership are all about getting things done through people.

As the church begins to grow the pastor will be looking for potential leaders. First, you must know the person you are going to give a responsibility to. It is much easier to give a position in the church than it is to take one away. The potential leaders must be faithful, having obeyed the plan of salvation, be tithe payers, and also living a victorious Christian life in holiness.

It would not be wise to promote someone to a position who is not faithful in paying tithes. Those failing to pay tithes should be removed from positions in the church. How can one rob God and be a blessing to the local church leadership at the same time? It is impossible!

When looking for a person to fill a responsibility in your department or church, choose carefully and prayerfully. If you were to put the wrong person into a position, you will spend a lot of time trying to correct the mistake that you made. It would have been easier to do the job yourself.

Like the boy David in the Old Testament, your potential leader should be found doing something. David was working as a Shepherd in the field when God anointed him to be the second king of Israel. The Bible makes it clear that we must be faithful over the small things before we are made leaders over bigger responsibilities (Matthew 25:23).

If you have someone with the talents that you need, that is great. However, if you cannot find someone with the talents you need, then you can train them. In this case you would be looking for someone with potential talents in the area needed. This can be called talent-searching.

In the Scripture highlighted at the beginning of this lesson, we note that Paul had several people moving along with him. Paul was a man with a plan. He had the “key man” plan. This is known as the “key man strategy” and is a concept that was adapted from the Navigators. In this Scripture you should note that each of these men were stated along with their geographical area (where they were from).

Timothy is the only exception. This was because Paul took him as his son, and was training him to take his place. This is called the Timothy principle. Every good leader is training an under study to take his place.

Moses trained Joshua. Elijah trained Elisha. Paul trained Timothy. One leadership principle states that “there is no SUCCESS without a SUCCESSOR.”

Success without a successor is failure.

When you work on your Timothy you are training someone to take over your particular ministry when you move on to something else.

Dr. John Maxwell, on one of his Injoy Life cassettes tells his staff, “If you do this job well, then I will give you another better job. But if you fail to do this job well, then I will take this job away from you!”

In the Key Man plan, Paul took men from different areas and gave them further training as they traveled with him. This was sort of like a Portable Bible School. Jesus also used the Key Man plan with his disciples giving them on-the-job training. Many people in our society use this same method when they have apprentices that they are training (electricians, carpenters, tailors, etc.)

People learn by watching and then they learn by doing. After Paul had trained these people then they would go back to their cities. Not everyone that God uses will leave their jobs and enter into full-time ministry. In Mark 5:19, the man of Gadera stayed where he was and witnessed for the Lord. Your key people will have access to particular groups, schools, offices, neighborhoods, or cultures. As needs for various ministries arise in the local church then you seek someone with a burden to fill the need. That is ministry, “filling a need.”

The Key Man plan is very effective in starting preaching points, and planting churches. Perhaps a member is from a certain village. He/she could open their home to begin the preaching point. Since they are familiar with the village, this will be a blessing.

The Key Man should be able to take things that have been learned and adapt them to the particular group or environment they are involved with.

Make sure that every person that you place in a key position is accountable to you and reports to you. When you effectively begin using men and women to fulfill the various functions of the church you have mastered the concept of delegation.

Study Questions

1. What is management and leadership all about? _____________________


2. What type of potential leaders will you look for in your church or department? ___________________


3. Who has a part in fulfilling the Great Commission? ___________________


4. If a leader is not paying tithes, what should happen? _________________


5. If you can’t find someone with the talents you need, then what should you do? __________________________


6. What is the “Key Man Strategy”? _______________________________________________________________________________________

7. What is the “Timothy Principle”? _______________________________________________________________________________________

8. How can the “Key Man” plan be effective in starting a preaching point? _______________________________________________________________________________________

9. When can you say that you are truly successful? ____________________


10. What is delegation? ___________


11. What is meant by the “Body Ministry”? _______________________


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