Wikipedia defines “leadership” as “organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal”. The leader may or may not have any formal authority. Developing leaders is essential to any organization. Bloomberg Businessweek reports: “The best companies for developing leaders recognize the value of strong leadership in both the good times and the bad,” says John Larrere, who heads Hay Group’s leadership and talent practice in the U.S. “Culturally they just cannot do away with leadership development, even in a recession. They don’t see it as a perk but as a necessity.”
There is a great need for leaders within the church. Obviously, there is a need for a pastor and other staff. Beyond the paid staff there is a great need for leaders in just about every ministry area of the church: Sunday School leaders, child care leaders, choir leaders, men’s ministry leaders, women’s ministry leaders, student ministry leaders, children ministry leaders, recreation ministry leaders, deacons, committee members, and the list goes on and on. Statistics indicate that there is a direct correlation between the number of leaders in the church and growth. Neither an organization or a church can effectively grow without developing more leaders.
The church must constantly be about the process of discovering, training, and releasing leaders to lead. Leaders usually know leaders and therefore they can be an excellent resource for discovering leaders. Ask those who are currently serving in positions of leadership to recommend people they may know who would be good leaders. God knows who would be a good leader. Spend some time in prayer seeking God’s leadership and direction in recruiting leaders.
The next step is training. The normal process is to provide leadership training conferences. Leaders can be trained at the church or take advantage of training opportunities offered through other organizations such as the state convention, association, or Lifeway Christian Resources. Additionally, there are training modules available on DVD and even on the web that one can take advantage of for training. The best method of training is “on-the-job” training. Bring potential leaders along side other leaders as an apprentice so they can learn how to lead. Allow those apprentices to take on the role as leader periodically until they feel comfortable leading the group.
The last step is to “release” the leader to lead. When someone has been adequately trained and mentored then put them to work as a leader of his or her own group. Repeat the process by allowing them to train and mentor an apprentice. Therefore, continuing the process of developing leaders.
What are your thoughts on developing leaders? What have you done to develop, train, or mentor someone to become a leader? Share your thoughts and comments below.