Leadership development may often be perceived as vague, time-consuming, or intimidating. In reality, it doesn’t have to be complicated. Using “Tony” as my fictional example, here is a proven, five-step mentorship/apprenticeship model that can be used to develop new leaders in church ministry.
Whatever the churches in your neighborhood look like, stop for a moment, and consider the church that isn’t there. At least, that isn’t there yet. What will it look like? Who will attend? What will its relationship be with the people who live, work, and play in your zip code? How will it be built to reflect the values of those pastoring and attending the community? These are the questions more than a thousand church planters wrestled at the NewThing Gathering and Exponential Chicago, both hosted at Community Christian Church’s Yellow Box location in Naperville, Illinois, recently.
Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.
Churches once held a place of influence at the center of our communities. In the past, many hospitals, colleges, and social services were launched out of a vision to obey Jesus’ admonition to give to the poor, clothe the naked, care for orphans, and visit the imprisoned. Churches were viewed as an anchor in our communities, and they literally were given a central place in the town square.
A good friend of mine who lives in the northern section of the U.S. has found a new way to deal with the arctic feel of winter. As an avid golfer, he has decided to take two or three days each month in January, February, and March to travel to a warm state, play golf and then go back home… by himself.
In previous posts I’ve shared a lot about the leadership path and the simple tools that we give leaders to help them through the path (The Five Steps of Leadership Development, B.L.E.S.S. and 6 Coaching Questions). Now I want to talk specifically about the leadership pipeline.
When I shared "The Five Steps of Leadership Development," you may remember numbers 1-4 ended with “We talk.” People always ask, “What do we talk about? What do I talk to these leaders about?” Let’s walk through six simple questions to go through in a coaching relationship with new church leaders. I’ll use Tony as my apprentice example.
I remember the first time I heard of Aspen Group when a connection reached out to me and let me know they were growing and searching for their first HR Director. When I asked a few questions about the company, he was quick to share how great working at Aspen was—with an unwavering focus on the mission of creating space for ministry impact, living out the company’s values, and a family-friendly, collaborative environment. I was excited to apply and was honored to join the team in August 2017. When I came onboard, I saw that everything I had been told about the organization and how it treats its employees is true! Aspen’s leadership truly believes that having engaged and fulfilled staff is the most critical company health indicator and allows us to best serve our client churches.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to set expectations for leaders. Say I’m a small group leader, and I'm hearing over and over that I need to have an apprentice who I’m investing in. The expectation is that I need to reproduce my group. Say I identified Tony as my apprentice because he’s demonstrated the three characteristics I’m looking for—teachability, spiritual velocity, relational intelligence.
Strong leadership in your church is desirable. You want leaders. But how do you actually empower these leaders at your church? Whether you are grooming new leaders or looking to vitalize current ones, here is a simple tool that looks at how to empower the leaders in your church or at your sites to actually go out and do the things you’re looking for them to do.
I was present at the beginning of this era of multisite ministry. It was an accident; I was just fortunate enough to work at Leadership Network at a time when we were making a list of and tracking the early practitioners of multisite. After a meeting with a church in 1997 that had already gone multisite, my team and I looked at each other and said, “ This is going to be big.” We then saw a cadre of churches doing similar things across various geographic areas and denominational backgrounds. What began as a list of 78 in the ‘90s has grown to more than 8,000, according to a Duke University survey. I believe we are still in the early chapters of this story. There has been a rapid replication of sites and systems to fit the current context, but we are a long way from seeing the totality of this movement. Drawing from the research within this report and my experience, here are some trends I have observed during the rise of expansion strategies, as well as a few shifts I think we have yet to see unfold: