“No one gets intentional about church leadership until the pain of having a leadership shortage becomes unbearable.”
– Bill Hybels, Senior Pastor Willow Creek Community Church.
I was one responsibility short of having a stroke. At least that’s how I felt.
We had just launched a second campus. More responsibilities, more people to serve and a shortage of church leaders. As a result, our technical director, ushers leader, and many other key leaders had to travel between the two campuses to ensure everything was working. We had a shortage of children’s ministry workers, our culinary team was overwhelmed. We had major needs but a shortage in leaders.
And the only answer was to become intentional about growing our leaders.
The Real Issue
During this time, I had a great conversation with a good, seasoned, man of God. He showed me this simple drawing.
And he just said…
“If you have more initiatives than leaders, you will topple over.”
Most Pastors I talk with have this issue. They have a great vision to take their city for Christ. The vision requires planning, putting strategies together, executing the strategy, but they don’t have enough of the right church leaders to fulfill the vision. They also don’t have the time, nor capacity to develop the leaders required to accomplish the vision.
So…. Pastors do it all on their own. Handle the worship, announcements, and preach. Teach the membership class, teach the bible study, do all of the hospital visits, weddings, funerals, baptisms, counseling, and maintenance. Oh, and be a spouse and parent.
Notice what I did not list…. Developing church leaders.
Pastors are so busy they don’t have the time to develop leaders.
When you don’t have enough leaders to support your initiatives, eventually:
- your initiatives will topple over (no one to support)
- or overtax the faithful leaders you do have
- stunt your growth
- or end up stressed out and making no progress
So how do you overcome this… you have to focus on adding and growing church leaders.
You’ve got to make your leaders better.
Here is a simple 2 Step process for developing leaders…
Step 1: Identify Potential Church Leaders
First, you need to identify who has the potential to be a high-quality leader….
- Review your volunteer list
- Choose church leaders with high potential
- put these leaders in an imaginary group
- do general leadership development with this group so that they can handle more than one role
Step 2: Partner them with an Advanced Church Leader
Partner your potential leaders with your advanced leaders.
- Identify your advanced leaders
- Ask your potential leaders to shadow them on a Sunday
- Ask your Advanced Leaders to have lunch with them and answer any questions they may have
- Repeat this process at least once a month
Want to learn more about developing Church Leaders:
Join my brand new Church Leadership Community Group if you are looking to strengthen your leadership skills in order to have a greater impact for God’s Kingdom.