Leadership has become the hottest topic among growing church leaders these days. And I think for good reason. There is a healthy and ever-increasing awakening to the reality that programs don’t grow people, people do. And the more you are in the business of really making disciples, the more leadership development moves from periphery to central; it becomes a real need AND a felt need issue!
But the first problem in execution is again the over-reliance on events and programming. Churches quickly start leadership development classes or events only to overwhelm further, the busiest people they serve. Many first takes at leadership development become a recipe for insanity!
What then are some alternative solutions? What are ways to develop leaders IN church without creating more events AT church?
SOLUTION #1: Use a special story-telling technique to help leaders teach other leaders in realtime
I learned this teaching-via-story tool from Noel Tichy which he introduces in his book, Leadership Engine as a “Teachable Point of View.” It takes some effort to get going but can become a powerful part of a leadership development culture. One of the most significant steps I have ever taken as a leader is to write down ten, 2-minute testimonies of my life’s most significant leadership lessons. Try it and learn more in the download below.
SOLUTION #2: Implement self-led venues for people to learn at any time, any place and any pace
With access to digital content today, its easier than ever to provide learning and development opportunities virtually. One caution: Don’t let leadership development drift into a information-transfer opportunity only. Watching a video doesn’t make you a better leader. But watching a video can be a significant step in a relational development pathway. Aubrey Malphurs and I wrote a chapter in Building Leaders about 16 different venues including this self-led type. Also, check out the Ministry Grid for a great online tool for church leaders.
SOLUTION #3: Embed apprenticeship as a norm in ministry environments
While many people have written on apprenticeship, few have practiced it as well as Dave and Jon Ferguson. Check out their thoughts in the download below. One huge and obvious benefit of apprenticing is that you don’t have to recreate a training environment because every ministry environment is a training environment. Apprenticing can be challenging but it is doable. It is the primary method Auxano uses for training Navigators.
In our first issue of our SUMS reMix we tackled this post’s problem. SUMS reMix is a brand new tool that brings you three simple solutions to practical challenges for church leaders. Each solution comes via book summary of a book relevant to church leadership. Learn more about SUMS Remix and subscribe here.