How Leadership Development Ruins the Church.

Buzz words that I heard this past week at the EFCA Challenge Conference 2012 were “leadership development”. I interacted with a few other youth pastors and they spoke of developing leaders, but it always seemed that there was a frustration with the results of that effort and energy.

Nothing Changed.

Leadership development is typically described as a method of giving anyone the opportunity to take a course with leadership tips and graduate them as qualified leaders (or at least the potential to).

Is this the best method to build a leadership team to drive your ministry?

Instead of finding people that love Jesus and making them leaders, find those leaders in the community and help them love Jesus more.

Lets exegete that statement.

Leaders are born not created.

The flaw of youth pastors I spoke with was the concept that leaders can be created.  They sought out the most mature Christians, but not necessarily those that are leaders.  They attempt to walk them through a cirrriculm that will turn them into leaders, but the reality is there is a lid.

Recognize Leaders.

Leaders are magnets and if you can bring them onto your team good things will happen.  If they believe in the vision they will naturally draw people in and be a part of the positive momentum.  Find these people and bring them into the process.

Select leaders that love Jesus and help them love Jesus MORE.

The calling against this process may be that these leaders aren’t mature christians with the right things to say or the best exegetical skills.  There must be a certain level of maturity and character recognized in their life but if it came down between an incredibly mature christian lacking leadership skills I would seek out the less mature chrisitan with a greater lid to draw people in and spend significant time discipling him to love Jesus.  The role of the pastor isn’t leadership development, but spiritual development.

Instead of creating leaders I want to find leaders and help them love Jesus more.  The leveraged impact of discipling leaders will both focus your attention where it needs to be and drive the growth of the ministry.

Is this an appropriate strategy of choosing a leadership team, or is there value in leadership development?  Explain.

8 thoughts on “How Leadership Development Ruins the Church.

  • I think spiritual development is something that should be done on anyone, period. Not just those that have some natural ability towards leadership. It’s a wrong model, in my opinion, to look for leaders and make a special effort to minister to them – then our ministry becomes utilitarian. What we give to people has only to do with our assessment of what we think we’ll get out of them.

    • I agree.  The idea of spiritual development for everyone is essential to this idea-period.  The question I ask myself is who am I spending time with and spiritually developing?  I don’t have time for everyone.  

      To me its a strategic investment and time management 🙂  I want to leverage my resources to the best of my ability.  I have limited time and limited energy.  I am not Jesus.  I look at my time and want to leverage and invest it to the best of my ability and to God’s glory.  

      Does this mean I never invest in someone that may not duplicate or replicate as fast as someone else?  No-but I knowingly choose to do that- I would rather spend my time with the ones that I believe will act as that magnet and lead others to trust Christ and treasure him above all.  They naturally do it.  They naturally draw people in.  I want to help those people love Jesus more!

      Does this mean I am always looking for the charismatic and dynamic person?  No- I think there are leaders of all levels and styles.  Different people draw different people in.  

      However, if I am looking to infect the river so to speak with a red dye that will spread I want to put it into the main current- not the fringe.  In the same way I want to invest my time into the people that are in that main current who can then influence others.   I want to invest in faithful leaders who will invest the gospel and the gospel into others!  Both those in and out of the church. Both disciple and evangelize.  

      Thanks for the words Loren! PS! Just recommended your blog my friend!  I value your content and heart for time management!  

  • In a church leadership development is important and has it’s place. However I think spiritual development can be more important.  This is because as we become more mature in Christ, we become more like Him. This means His characteristics and qualities will shine more in our life.

    • I always value your feedback Dan! That is the challenge in trying to develop a leadership team! The more we help people become more like Christ those qualities they already possess will shine to the glory of God—thats where I want to spend my time 🙂

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