By Dave Ferguson & Todd Wilson New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishing (2019)
Paperback, 84 pages
Reviewed by SERGIO OCHAETA
Dave Ferguson and Todd Wilson are the authors of the book The Legacy of a Hero Maker. They are also the co-founders of Exponential, the largest church-planting conference in the world. Every year, thousands of people of different Christian denominations from across the globe travel to Orlando, Florida, to attend a fourday event filled with seminars, classes, and presentations that equip the leaders to plant churches. Their mission is to equip movement makers with actionable principles, ideas, and solutions for the accelerated multiplication of healthy, reproducing faith communities.
What Ferguson and Wilson communicate in this book is that every church leader is called to lead not only a small (or big for that matter) congregation but to leave a legacy for the honor and glory of God. This legacy consists of making heroes and hero makers. In their words, this is called “kingdom building—a shift in counting. You are no longer only concerned with who’s showing up at your thing; you also count who’s doing God’s thing!” (p. 34). Most people are concerned with growing their local church, but God is concerned with growing His global church. Ferguson and Wilson use Paul and Jesus as examples in their thesis that the church is called for exponential multiplication.
In the Bible, Paul spent much of his ministry career preaching the Gospel in different parts of the world; additionally, he also spent much time investing in Timothy, Silas, Cornelius, Lydia, Aquila, Priscila, and many more. Paul was the hero maker of these people, who became hero makers as well. “From the time Jesus told them to go out and multiply in Matthew 4:19 to His death, 73 percent of His time was with the twelve (p. 55). Jesus spent more of His time discipling and investing in other people than He did preaching to the masses. Therefore, God calls the leaders of His churches today not to be merely heroes, but makers of heroes.
Ferguson and Wilson also give practical advice on how to be hero makers. One of the many examples is the acronym I.C.N.U., which stands for, “I see in you.” Seeing potential in others is one thing God calls church leaders to do because He did it with them. One can change someone else by simply saying, “I see in you a great musician.” Or “I see in you a great preacher.” Or “I see in you a great leader.” Developing the skill of seeing other’s abilities is paramount because this will ultimately lead us to catapult others to success.
Mentoring is another key part of making heroes in ministry. In this book, the reader learns five simple steps to developing leaders:
- I do. You watch. We talk.
- I do. You help. We talk.
- I do. You help. We talk.
- You do. I help. We talk. 4.You do. I watch. We talk.
- You do. Someone else watches. (p. 62)
Leading someone to be a leader will not stop at developing all of their great potential, but also teaching that leader to discover and develop the potential in other people. In the words of Bob Buford, “I’m the catapult, not the place” (p. 45).
Leading with a “yes” is another characteristic of hero-making, according to Ferguson and Wilson. However, I believe leaders should be cautious with this type of philosophy, as sometimes warning another leader with a “no” is also necessary. Leading with a “yes” is great but not always the right course of action, and it can lead to disaster. Now, this does not mean one cannot learn from the mistakes; on the other hand, God calls us to lead and to lead well.
I highly recommend this book to all leaders of the church. Not only to pastors and elders but also to ministry leaders and members who have potential but are still sitting on the pews of the church. Because the fact is that we have an army sitting on pews, and God needs them to get up and preach the good news of the Gospel. Unfortunately, many of those warm pews are due to pastors and leaders monopolizing the spotlight instead of activating gifts, talents, and leaders to become future heroes and hero makers.
SERGIO OCHAETA is the pastor for Crosslink, Hill Country, and Betel Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Austin, Texas, USA. He is also a student for the masters in pastoral ministry at Andrews University.