The Top 12 Equipping Tools I Use to Develop Leaders

The Top 12 Equipping Tools I Use to Develop Leaders By Apostle Ricardo Butler
The Top 12 Equipping Tools I Use to Develop Leaders By Apostle Ricardo Butler

By Ricardo ‘Reason’ Butler


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There are many different varieties and ways to equip leaders. There area all kinds of styles to develop leaders. We many use many different venues to disciple potential leaders. Some have frameworks or SOPs to get this done. But for me, I use 12 tools from my toolbox or my utility belt to chisel and shape leaders to the way God is leading them.


So let’s dig in and I will share with you my own personal tools.

[1] Correction


I am going to start with my text from the Scriptures,


“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished [fully equipped] unto all good works.” (2nd Timothy 3:16-16).


Starting in no particular order, I use correction. The Greek word for correction means, “A straightening up again, i.e. (figuratively) rectification (reformation):–correction.” The goal here is to show What should we NOT BELIEVE? The Word of God shows us how to correct the errors we have made.


Correction only works when you have been the wrong way yourself to be able to say, “Hey! Don’t go that way. God told us not to go that way, plus many have tried it and God was right. That way doesn’t work.” No one likes correction because we think we know it all. And when a person can get to the point where they can pull out their own log they put themselves in a good spot.



[2] Reproof


It took me a long time to understand what this word meant and how it was used. The Greek definition means, “Proof, conviction:–evidence, reproof’.” How should I NOT BEHAVE? The Word of God shows us where we go wrong. The word can be translated as conviction, like being convicted of sin or convicted of a crime you have committed. It’s not enough to be convicted, reproof is conviction and also why you should not do this or that. If you don’t explain why then people will not care and will keep doing what they are doing.



[3] Doctrine


The word doctrine just means teaching. The Greek word defines it as, “Instruction (the function or the information):–doctrine, learning, teaching.” What should I BELIEVE? The Word of God tells us how to live. Doctrine is informative teaching that challenges your thinking, attitude, and beliefs. It aims to be transformational though you are giving information. You lay foundational principles with teaching or doctrine. And that is how I personally use it. I believe teaching is overused in comparison to all these other tools in the church. I believe we need to begin to focus more on the other eleven tools or any you may have of your own. It’s good to start with teaching but it is not everything.



[4] Instructions in Righteousness


This word means, “Tutorage, i.e. education or training; implication disciplinary correction:–chastening, chastisement, instruction, nurture.” in “Equity (of character or act); specifically (Christian) justification:–righteousness.” How should I BEHAVE? It shows us how to develop the correct lifestyle.


This involves a little bit of everything. It almost sounds a little harsh, but I love how the Greek added that word nurture in there. So it’s a tough with some tender type of ways to equip people in some how to and in some character development.



[5] Verbal Communication


If you don’t talk and listen (and much more on the listening side as the equipper) there can be no learning and no development. When you are equipping or training someone you have to listen to his or her needs and talk to them about what is going on.


It doesn’t even have to be training related. Just knowing what’s up with someone is important. Calling them to say that you have to go to the doctor or my wife is sick is part of it. You have to learn how to relate to other personality types. It’s a relationship and communication must happen both ways for it to work.



[6] Channel Their Strengths


One of the best ways to equip people is to know their strengths, natural talents, personal skills, expertise, knowledge, and even spiritual gifts. This is usually the very first thing I do when someone wants me to train them or mentor them or whatever.


I need to take an inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. Many use just the DISC test and there is nothing wrong with that. I actually used to sell these on my old website. It was a top selling item in my old store. I use a whole bunch of tools! The primary tool that I use to find people’s strengths is the SHAPE tool by Rick Warren. And it means,


  • Spiritual Gifts
  • Heart (Passion)
  • Abilities (Natural talents)
  • Personality (Temperaments)
  • Experience


So I evaluate all of these areas and find a central theme in there and help them to be the best they can be in only there top competencies.


[7] On the Job Training


I believe on-the-job training is so important because you get to get in there and show them …


  • What the Lord wants them to generally do,
  • What you want them to do,
  • Or show them wherever they are tending to go.


The worse part is not a lot of leaders in the church are doing this at all. Training leaders is a form of discipleship. I am a visual and hands on learner.


So for me this was the thing I hated about being a Christian and sitting in the pews. You can preach and teach me how to overcome this sin or how to be honest, but if I don’t know what that looks like in real time, I will not get it.


It wasn’t until the Lord told me to sit under some folks that were doing this type of ministry, which would become bits and pieces of the pattern and style of ministry, and even business that I would be doing, is how I got where I am today. And this brings me to the next important stage of equipping leaders. And that is …


[8] Imitation


Paul talked about,


“Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers [imitators] of me.” (1st Corinthians 4:16).


“Be ye followers [imitators] of me, even as I also am of Christ.” (1st Corinthians 11:1).


“Brethren, be followers [imitators] together of me, and mark them [other leaders in the Body] which walk so [walk the same walk] as ye have us for an ensample [example].” (Philippians 3:17).


“And ye became followers [imitators] of us, and of the Lord, having received the Word [of God] in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.” (1st Thessalonians 1:6).


I always invite potential leaders to imitate me. I used to be or feel insecure about this. I was like, “Who am I to ask for these potential leaders to imitate and follow me?” I had this “I have to be perfect” mentality. And it limited me in training leaders. Then the Spirit spoke on this verse where Paul said to follow him as He followed or imitated Christ.


The revelation is that if I keep following and imitating Christ I will continue to grow in my leadership and if my followers watch me grow then they grow with me! We all grow together!



[9] Modeling


Modeling is like imitation. The only difference, in my opinion, is everybody can imitate me from a distance, but I intentionally pick potential leaders to watch me do things most don’t know about.


They get to sit in the front row of my leadership and ministry. Then I ask them to demonstrate and personalize for themselves on what I was modeling for them.


I can model processes, how to do something, or even how I deal with people or a character trait. That’s modeling from my perspective.


[10] Discipline


This is a tough one. Most leaders, especially in a church setting, don’t like to do this. And most potential leaders don’t accept it, even when done correctly. I don’t like doing it. When I do discipline, it is very rare when I do it.


Discipline is a form of equipping that says, “The way that you are going is a proven dead end. Let me show you another way.” It’s a form of correction.


Discipline is also away to get people to do habitual things over and over again. A nice word for discipline is practice. It’s to develop the habits needed to get the necessary thing that you might not like done.


But what I have found out that if you get people to do what they are passionate about, the discipline is already there. The Scriptures say,


“But the fruit of the Spirit is love [manifested in] … temperance.” (Galatians 5:22-23).


Love can mean passion and temperance in the Greek means “self-control or discipline.” Passionate people are disciplined! They want to learn what they got to learn by being disciplined if they want their dreams and goals that they are passionate about to work.


[11] Impartation


Impartation is much different then the rest that I’ve already mentioned. This one involves giving a person all that you are and have. The cost is high because of the time spent with the potential leader.


Another thing is that it works both ways. Impartation is almost on a marriage type of relationship. You both almost become one. It’s like that idea of the teacher and the student in martial arts where the student does all that I mentioned above to learn all that the master knows. This can even be done when the master/teacher is not around. The student takes the initiative to try to figure and think how the teacher would act in certain situations.


It is a pouring into the student from the teacher out of himself or from what the Lord has given the teacher over the years. Then the teacher draws out from the student as well as shows the student how to draw out for himself. And finally the student draws out for himself and on his own the foundational teachings he has learned.


If this is done in Christ the whole purpose is not to pour in the student for the purpose of conforming him into your image. It’s to get him to take on your perspective so that when the double portion anointing of the Lord Himself comes to take over, He sees the foundation from the master and then builds on that, the Lord begins to show the student how to figure things out for himself in the freedom of all the possible options from the teacher and from Christ on how to solve a problem or to do whatever the Lord will have him to do as far as his own calling.


[12] Mentoring


And then finally there is mentoring. Mentoring is like discipleship but for me I do it for a longer time then most do it today. Mentoring is for the long term and is very strategic with goals outlines and created by the potential leader. Of course I am with him (or her) to guide him through a process, but it will be generally his goals. I just make some suggestions.


Don’t confuse me now. This is not like coaching. It goes much deeper and much longer. Coaching is more like training in on specific area of strength when I do it. Mentoring is borderline parenting where I am actively involved in their lives. There is that accountability factor. It’s a bit more detailed and a lot more demanding for the benefit and success for the mentee (I think that’s the right word). The world uses the word mentorship, but in all actuality it is the Churches version of discipleship.


There is another level here that is not talked about much and that is spiritual parenting or fatherhood. Or even another level is apostolic fathering. But we are not going to get into that here. But for me, when I do it, it’s all of these things above but combined.




So these are all the 12 equipping tools that I use to develop leaders.


What are some of yours?


So continue to feed the Seed and Nurture the Nature, for by Divine Enlightenment you are Becoming What you already ARE! Apostolic blessings and do know that you are highly FLAVORED of the Lord!


May the blessings of the KINGDOM of the Father come upon you and your family through the Seed of the Word planted grow up 30fold, 60fold, 100fold, and even a double portion, which would be 200fold in Jesus’ name by the power of the Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ WHO IS THE SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE WORLD! Amen!


Grammatical errors are left in intentionally to let people know that a real human named Ricardo Butler is really writing his own content! 🙂


If you are enjoying these posts, you can leave a comment below and Subscribe to my Newsletter where I will be sharing information (WISDOM) and content (TRUTH) to help (LOVE) and equip (BUILD UP) emerging Kingdom-minded ministers to be Five Fold Leaders and spiritual PARENTS (fathers and mothers) in the home, ministry, and marketplace! So go get my FREE e-Book here for signing up!


Click Image to Subscribe to my Newsletter! (Stay Tuned!)

Privacy Guarantee: I will never share your e-mail address with anyone else AND I am a 100% Spam Hater!


Thanks for the connection! What are you wrestling with? What can I pray about for you? If you have any questions, or if I can help you in any way, feel free to write.


Love you and Christ bless!

Apostle Ricardo 'Reason' Butler @
Apostle Ricardo ‘Reason’ Butler @


Ricardo ‘Reason’ Butler

Son of God | Disciple of Christ | Father | Husband | Leader | Writer | Entrepreneur | YOUR PERSONAL FEET WASHER | SERVANT & Apostolic Founder & CEO of Ricardo Equips Apostolic Leaders (R.E.A.L.), LLC @


I’m passionate about helping and equipping apostolic leaders & ministers such as yourself to equip more five fold ministry leaders and spiritual parents to rule well in the home, ministry, marketplace, and local community!”


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