The Pareto principle says that, “eighty percent of the work is done by twenty percent of the people.” Unfortunately that principle is often true in churches. The twenty percent of the people doing the work is the core of the church and it is through their effort that most of the giving and serving is done. A wise pastor will recognize the importance of his core people and invest time to develop their leadership skills. Not every new member will be a great leader or even a faithful attender but some will and you must determine who will be your greatest supporters and spend the necessary time train them to serve.
Jesus trained the twelve disciples, David had his mighty men and the early church had its seventy witnesses. How can you build a core of people in your church that will develop into leaders? Building a core of leaders usually involves some key people that God brings to you who have some Christian background. Reaching unchurched or nominal Christians can speed up the growth of a new work and without their presence building the work can be much slower and becomes a longer and more difficult process. Soul-winning is the heart beat of every growing church and the mindset of the church should be to reach the community and the regions beyond with the gospel. But building the church on new converts does require a greater amount of time.
The most difficult places to build a solid core of members are where there are fewer evangelical people. Areas dominated by Islam, Buddhism, or Roman Catholicism will have fewer saved people looking for a good church and finding Christian people will be more difficult. In fact, some of these areas are so dominated with their false religion that there are no people looking for a good church to attend. Building the core then is reliant entirely upon new converts. It is hard work but a church can be established upon new believers; it will just take longer to do it. Though new converts require more time to develop, very often they are more eager to learn and usually they are more loyal to your leadership.
The purpose of developing a core of leaders is to train nursery workers, ushers, a treasurer, soul-winners, Sunday School teachers, IT specialists along with many additional roles of the new church. Starting a church or assuming the pastorate of a struggling church requires that the pastor develop leaders that will become the core of his church. The strength of the church will be determined by the strength of the key leaders. The leadership of the pastor will be reflected in his ability to teach and train converts and especially the leaders of the church. This process of training leaders requires years of work. Jesus spent three and one half years training the twelve and I doubt that any man could do better than Christ. It will take years of work but the rewards are worth it.