Lately, we have been exploring how churches make developing excellent leaders more difficult than it really needs to be. We’ve already discussed that this happens is when the leadership pathway is ignored and when churches program rather than personalize leadership development.
The third way we see churches fumbling in this area is when they limit their leadership development efforts to certain positions instead of creating a culture of leadership throughout the entire organization.
This is a particularly common trend with the emergence of multisite campuses. Growing churches are constantly on the lookout for the next Campus Pastor. The role of Campus Pastor is certainly a priority, but a culture of leadership should permeate your connections team, children’s ministry, student ministry, worship team, and so on.
A culture of leadership attracts and retains leaders of all kinds by allowing them to lead within their unique spiritual gifting.
I’ve always believed that healthy leadership is less about the leader and more about those being led. It’s far more than just paying a pastor to lead the next campus expansion.
The real win in leadership development happens when all of God’s people are fully equipped to do His work. That means your structure is built to allow leaders to rise up in their area of passion. Senior leaders search out and invest in those with leadership gifts and passion for ministry — whether they are passionate about ministering to children, communicating the Gospel to outsiders, feeding the homeless, expressing worship through art, or anything that glorifies God and edifies the Church.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 12 that each believer is given one or more gifts. Church leaders should be intentional about identifying leaders and helping them discover the unique gift mix that God has designed for their lives.
We have been conditioned to equate leadership with a person (i.e. Campus Pastor). That’s not how God created it. In His design, the sum is greater than its parts. You stunt your church’s leadership culture potential when you don’t invest in leaders from multiple zones of ministry.
And another thing to keep in mind: The paid staff aren’t always the ones most equipped to influence a culture of leadership. There may be an assistant principle, coach, bank president or corporate executive who is further along the leadership pathway than anyone else in your church. Some of these people are experienced, high capacity leaders with great potential to train future volunteers (and yes, even Campus Pastors). Calling on their experience can go a long way in building a culture of leadership.
Other Surefire Ways to Fail in Developing Leaders…