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Leadership is a major topic in our society – both in business and in the church. Intentional leadership development produces great leaders, whereas, a lack of leadership development creates a void within an organization.
Having served on ministry staff for over 30 years, I understand that there is always more that can be done to further the ministry goals. There is always one more task at hand, one more contact that could be made, and one more message that could be shared. The job is never done.
During my 3 ½ years as Executive Director, I have come to the realization that I failed to spend enough time developing leaders while serving as pastor. Unfortunately the tyranny of the urgent and the everyday grind of ministry crowded out time that should have been used more effectively to develop leaders. Had I carved out time to train leaders strategically, intentionally, and effectively, I believe my role as a pastor would have been much more successful.
Leadership Training Seminar
Due to the void that a lack of leadership development creates in an organization, Denton Baptist Association is committed to assisting churches in the area of leadership development, which is the reason we are once again offering the 2017 Leadership Training Seminar on Saturday, August 19 from 8:30 AM – 12:00 PM, at FBC, Denton. We have structured the event to provide specific help for those who work with preschool, children, youth and adults. In addition, seminars will be available to assist believers in becoming better followers of Christ. This training is excellent, but the cost is minimal: $10/person with a maximum expense of $150/church. I hope you will plan to bring all of your leaders to this training.
Training leaders is imperative, but it is only part of a leadership development strategy. Mac Lake, a pioneer for churches in the area of leadership development, has built a strategy called The Leadership Pipeline. Lake suggests that early on in his ministry he realized that most churches practice what he calls leadership placement instead of leadership development. He defines placement as plugging holes in leadership when there is a vacancy. This approach typically follows a crisis, or an as needed mentality. The problem with this plan is that there is no strategy for developing future leaders.
Lake’s solution to this continual leadership vacuum is taken from Jesus model of calling out his followers. Lake references Luke 6:12-16. In these verses Jesus spent all night in prayer. The following morning the text tells us that Jesus called all the followers together and then he selected 12 out of that group. In Mark 3:14 we learn that He appointed the 12 so that they could be with him and preach and have authority over driving out demons. Later in Jesus ministry he calls out a larger group that is referred to as the 72 or 70 depending on which version you read. This in-between group was sent out two-by-two ahead of Jesus. Lake’s contention is that while Jesus always had crowds and disciples, he also had the 12 and later the 72. Jesus modeled a leadership development process.
Following Lake’s Biblical discovery, he found out about an employee development strategy called Leadership Pipeline. He took that information and adapted it to the church setting. He then produced a plan for churches that has been promoted by LifeWay and adopted by the Church Planting arm of the North American Mission Board. His pipeline calls for a growth structure that has at least four levels: the team member, the leader, the coach, and the senior leadership. Each of these four levels would have a job description so that a person will know what is required of them and allow for progression to the next level.
Once the different levels and job descriptions have been established, a multifaceted training process is to be followed. There are three specific goals that are fulfilled for each area.
These three facets of prepare, equip and inspire will produce a healthy leadership development strategy.
In order to assist churches in implementing this strategy, DBA is hosting a Leadership Pipeline Lab on September 20 at Southmont Baptist Church from 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM. Church leadership teams are invited to attend and discover how to develop their Leadership Pipeline. To register for this event go to the DBA website: and click on the Pipeline banner. To watch a video of Mac teaching this strategy.
My hope for pastors and ministry leaders in the church is that each would take time to develop and train leaders. Plan to bring your leaders to each of these trainings and you will create a culture of leadership that will benefit your church and most importantly the Kingdom of God.