Vol. 2, Issue 9
Produced by CE National
Developing leaders, working with…
…God. Yes, God Himself.
Related to leadership, as with church health, we “work out our salvation (our good health) with fear and trembling.”
And then we count on God to “will and to do at His good pleasure,” as promised. And He does. See Philippians 2:12, 13.
This all means we cannot just sit there and wait for church leaders and ministry pioneers to emerge from the woods. We who lead must develop them. Thus we send this month’s video and notes, about things that have helped us and others.
And we give thanks to God, who works in us all by His Spirit.
In addition, we wish you a very joyful Christmas. That is a gift where we did no work at all!
Knute, Jeff, Jim
Watch the video
(CE National also produces one-day training events called Pastorpedia Live.)
Why do we make it hard?
Because it is hard 🙂
There is no system in which you can take people, plug them into a system and have them come out the other end spiritually mature leaders. It is the hard work of discipleship.
I strongly believe in leadership pathways where you are able to take a person and expose him or her to experiences, training, and relational interactions—but that pathway, no matter how well developed, cannot guarantee the development of a good leader. The only way to develop a good leader is to tie their life to your life:
- Walk them through the nuances of leadership by speaking into their lives on a regular basis.
- Consistently confront them to allow “iron to sharpen iron.”
Leadership development is hard work. More than a science, it is an art form, and it takes persistence and diligence to invest your life in the people around you.
The upside is this: “If you invest in leadership for five years it will pay off for 25.” Leadership development is worth the effort, but the effort is immense nonetheless, and it takes time.
- We place knowledge over application. We need to get past the idea that only knowledge make better leaders.
- Systems that we use to train leaders often need revamped. Build methods that allow them to get their feet wet, with a mentor helping them.
- We allow less important things to be priorities. Thus it does not get the necessary time and energy.
- We lack the tools to do it right.
- Because it is. We learned very little about it in school, and very few of us had strong leaders who deliberately built skills and desires into our lives. And we do not get much time to travel together like Paul did with Timothy or Titus.
- We use books too much. A lot of them make it complicated.
- Maybe we should just have two subjects to impart: character and church. CE National has discussion guides from Bible verses on these two subjects, by the way.
- We forget it is just TLC—time with men in a group of 4 to 6 others, Love shown and said, and content of the scripture that hits the heart.
- We do not ask ourselves and all staff to lead a group of 4 to 6 others to develop in character strength and church leadership.
How do we develop board members and strong ministry leaders?
The way that we have done this is by gradually introducing different levels of responsibility to people. We look for opportunities to invite a new leader to participate with our trusted leaders, on a low impact project. This gives us an opportunity to gauge their thinking and to measure their F.A.T.E.R. (faithfulness, availability, teach-ability, enthusiasm, and their responsiveness). If they perform well, we will continue to entrust them with more and more.
Again, all of this takes time, but in leadership development, time can be your friend.
- First make sure the selection process is done wisely.
- Make a mental or written list of what makes a good leader and begin to watch others.
- Keep in mind that some people are only positional teachers, with a ministry but not people.
- Look for those that people are already following without a title.
- Make sure the leaders value children as much as they adults. Do they acknowledge children in a room?
- Determine if they are interested in power or interested in people.
- Spend time with them and do life with them as you develop them.
- Lead with them.
- Make sure they are willing to do the things they are requesting from others first.
- Have a system in place that gives you a chance to teach, observe, apply and mentor them. “Fight Club” is a good tool for development of leaders.
- Get them serving as soon as possible.
- See specific ideas in first section.
- Be sure to have at least two open–to-anyone meetings each week where you can meet men who have leadership abilities or potential—like a “quarterback club” breakfast, prayer partners, and more. (Glad to tell how these work.)
- Ask teachers and ministry leaders and yourself to teach assistants or apprentices. Remember, “I do, you do, we do.”
- Just begin. “It is amazing how little we can do in one year and how much we can do in five years.”
What is your part as the senior or lead pastor?
I need to always be looking for new leaders, and I need to encourage our church leaders to direct new and strong leaders toward me. So, leadership development is on my schedule. It’s a weekly part of my responsibilities, and I work very hard to discover leaders, to start training them and to help them find pathways.
- Do life with them and lead and serve with them.
- Encourage and spur them on in their journey.
- Help them see that you are on the same team.
- Be willing to go in first and not require anything from them that you are not willing to do first.
- Love them and empower them in their strengths.
- Leadership is ultimately influence; so spend time with them and let them see your heart for them, the ministry, and Jesus.
- Pray for them regularly.
- Pass on everything you can to help them.
- Don’t let fear keep you from making hard decisions.
- Rely on the Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance.
- Keep your relationship with Jesus hot!
- Give God credit in everything.
- Remember it not about you! It is all about JESUS!
- To do more than anyone on this.
- To require a true TLC group of all staff and yourself , including staff women. To urge this of strong leaders.
- To say and even practice that strong leaders do not just happen.
- To pray for leaders.
- To produce a mood of love, grace, and joy that would motivate people to want to serve as leaders in your church.
Pastorpedia is produced monthly by three experienced pastors: Jeff Bogue, of Grace Church, in several locations in the Bath-Norton-Medina areas of Ohio; Jim Brown, of Grace Community Church in Goshen, Indiana, a church known for its strong growth, family and men’s ministries, and community response teams; and Knute Larson, a coach of pastors, who previously led The Chapel in Akron for 26 years. Pastorpedia is brought to you by CE National. Visit cenational.org/pastorpedia for more issues and to read the bios of our contributors.