Hero or Hero Maker–Which are You?

Church multiplication leadership requires hero making. If we don’t make heroes of others, we’re not partnering with Jesus in the prayer to send labor into the harvest. God supplies, we shape.

I had a great recent conversation with one of my friends who is also one of my heroes. His massive accomplishments as a leader only pale when compared to his character qualities. This guy is an eleven on a scale of ten.

The problem is, in his words, “I have problems with the ‘H-word’ when it’s applied to me.” It is hard for him to platform others because he’s still trying to measure up. Along with him, you need to see the hero in yourself before making heroes of others.

Real Heroism

You may struggle to put food on the table in some small town. You may drive for Uber to help support a church that is much smaller than is acceptable to you.

Perhaps you would identify with me when I broke down and cried over massive debt in a huge building project—the trigger was a the pastor of a small complaining about having $80,000 in the bank and few people in his church. We were busting with people but worse than broke—our new campus drove us into a financial hole.

Love What God Created

If you intend to multiply churches you must learn to love others as you love yourself. This is assuming that you love yourself.

Part of healthy self-love is a fair appraisal of your character and accomplishments. Paul wrote, “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor” (Galatians 6:3-4 ESV). Did you notice that there is reason to boast if we test our work and do not deceive ourselves? We’re not talking bragging rights, just a fair estimate of our faithfulness with what God gives us. That is the platform where you stand when making heroes of ordinary people.

In war, few generals or admirals receive the medal of honor. Those awards go to the guys who show bravery in difficult circumstances. If that is you (and it probably is) admit your worth. Give yourself a platform from which to make heroes of others.

Don’t Strive for Attention

Here’s the problem: If you don’t see yourself as the hero in Jesus’ story of your life, you’ll constantly strive for attention. That puts you in competition with those you need to bolster.

This takes many forms. Some of us like to show how smart we are. Others how well-read. I know one guy who uses other people’s stories as if they were his own—makes great sermon illustrations, but he’s lying when he tells them. Whatever shape it takes, clamoring for acceptance hinders your ability to make heroes of the people around you.

The Question You Should Ask Yourself (every week)

Ask yourself, “Are the stories I tell in sermons about me, or do I brag on others?” If you are going to exaggerate, this is the place to do it. By bragging on church members exploits you give others the impression that they could do something similar. You also boost the faith of the person who you brag about. You generate movement into a higher level of service to the Kingdom.

Be Like The Two-Talent Guy

You may be a hero who will get to heaven and hear, “Well done…” I would rather be the guy in the story of the talents (I’m the two-talent guy, not the five) who took risks and doubled the assets entrusted to him—in a single year.

Observation tells me that hero makers are at least ten times as productive as heroes. I’m measuring church multiplication which simply will not happen without hero making on the part of a central figure.

Hero or Hero Maker—Which are You?

So, are you going to settle for personal accolades, or will you turn others into heroes? Some of this depends on your own view of yourself. It is also learned behavior. Decide to brag on at least three people personally in the next seven days. Make sure that half of your sermon stories are about people seated in front of you. The results will have eternal impact.

BTW, my friend did a turnabout in a matter of hours. He went from a struggling, “I don’t see myself as the hero I wish I could be” to a wannabe hero maker calling out others in a business meeting in less than ten hours.

That was only on the first day. He’s now an aggressively attempting to make heroes of others. The church he pastors is taking notice. I’m thrilled that a simple decision can have such a strong impact, so quickly. The important word in the previous sentence is “decision.” This is a choice.

If this article got your attention, you should probably read HeroMaker by Dave Ferguson and Warren Bird. (Note: I receive nothing for plugging books. Just want to help).

Is hero making easy for you or a struggle? TELL US ABOUT IT in the comment box below. This site is only as good as its participant. You are the heroes in the trenches…



4 thoughts on “Hero or Hero Maker–Which are You?”

  1. Thanks for this insightful post, Ralph, about the need to brag about others and build them up – about how they serve as models for others and also how recognizing them somehow solidifies their faith and allows them to grow even more.

  2. I love this concept. For those of us who are not self-promoters, the idea of making heroes of other people is tremendously appealing. I had just gotten connected with a young seminary student in his last year when I read this post for the first time. He has concluded that he isn’t called to the traditional Pastoral role and wants to pursue a career in financial services. My immediate thought for him was to encourage him to be a bi-vocational disciple-maker. I shared the idea with him and his face lit up. He has become my next project to make a hero of him. Making a hero disciple-making church planter of a young man gets my juices flowing. Thank you, Ralph.

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