9 Reasons Your Church Should Practice Leadership Development

Tuesday, December 30, 2014 6:50:00 AM Categories: Leadership
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“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born — that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.”

-Warren G. Bennis

Leadership development is imperative for healthy, growing churches. We need a regular, systematic way to move people from leading themselves to leading others to leading leaders to leading organizations. Even a simple and straightforward leadership development approach will have positive and far-ranging impact. Here are just a few of the benefits to your church:

Spreads out the mission. You’ve been called to a huge vision at your church. It outpaces you and your abilities. By taking time to develop and release leaders, you enlist other people to get on board with — and help fulfill — the mission.

Refines you and your team. Taking time to develop other leaders around you forces you to a place of clarity and conviction. That’s a difficult process for you … and that’s a good thing! It stretches and grows you as you attempt to help other people grow!

All about the next generation. The church is just one generation away from extinction. A central part of church leadership is passing the message and mission on to the next generation. Leadership development creates opportunities for younger leaders to engage with the church. It shows them that you care enough to help them take their first steps towards leading the church.

It’s Biblical. You are called to be a church leader not a church doer. Our role is to equip and build up the people in our church to the do the ministry. Core to your role from a Biblical point of view is building up others to help the ministry move forward. Being a leader who trains other leaders is your mandate and that’s bound to be a good thing for your church!

Networking key leaders. When leadership development is done right, it brings together existing leaders within your church to work together and help up-and-coming leaders. The very act of bringing leaders together to collaborate is valuable, because often they can become siloed in their own departments.

Platform to talk about tough issues. In our leadership development program, we talk about lifestyle generosity and moral fences. Conversations about these issues can be difficult to initiate, but when people “opt-in” to a leadership development program it’s an open door to share your core convictions about what a leader looks like in your church.

It readies your church for growth. Plateaued and declining churches aren’t developing leaders. There is no practical reason for them to identify, train and release leaders into new areas of ministry. If a church wants to kick-start its growth process, it needs to kick-start its leadership development!

A fishing pond for future staff. At some point your church is going to need to hire new staff. Where are you going to find those people? A well-designed leadership development program provides a great atmosphere to find staff who will lead other leaders and take your church to the next level.

Focuses the church on the important, not the urgent. You’re able to host services next weekend without a well-executed leadership development approach. However, if all you ever do as a leader is focus on what’s next on your “urgent list,” you won’t progress towards the larger vision God has for your church.

Rich serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. He blogs at UnSeminary.com and is a sought after speaker and consultant on multisite, pastoral productivity and communications. Visit Rich Birch at http://www.unseminary.com