Before you can begin delegating new tasks and developing new leaders, pruning must come first. The primary question of pruning is: What are you going to stop doing? If you don’t prune, you don’t have the bandwidth to develop others because you’re still carrying loads you don’t need to be carrying.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.”

We need to throw off what is hindering us– getting rid of what is unnecessary so we can streamline our energy toward our goal. Once we have done that we can begin asking “Who will you call alongside to help?” and “Who can you start investing in for their development?” From there you can move to strategic development and planning how to actually raise up new leaders.

But first comes the pruning. Pruning can be painful, but it’s necessary if we are to focus on what’s truly important and run with perseverance the race marked out for us.