This week we are covering Leadership Pipeline, a concept and framework for churches to develop leaders at every level of ministry. Over the course of the week we will share a blog post and a podcast each day. We are also offering a free e-booklet called Developing Your Leadership Pipeline which can be downloaded here. If what you read and hear interests you be sure to register for our upcoming webinar, “Leadership Pipeline: The Role of the Volunteer.” Here is part two.
A pastor likely doesn’t know how to train people in every ministry area, from preschool to worship to the parking lot. Even if a pastor has time to develop training for his church, most find it impossible to get volunteers and leaders to attend training meetings and events. Many pastors also find it difficult to create a specific scope and sequence of development for new, more advanced, and expert-level leaders. Because of this struggle, most churches often provide one basic training cycle in a given ministry area and train to the lowest common denominator. Sadly, many of these churches allocate more budget money to classroom snacks for toddlers than to ongoing development.
The good news is that you are not alone. If we compiled the top six barriers from your church, the church across town, and some of most successful churches in America, then many lists would overlap. The key difference between churches that are finding success in creating a leadership pipeline and churches that are not is that these barriers don’t incapacitate them. Out of their conviction, they create a culture and constructs that align to build a people development organization. The reason most churches and organizations have a leadership deficiency today is that they never built a leadership development culture and constructs yesterday. These churches practice leadership placement, not leadership development.
When you practice leadership placement over leadership development, you play a dangerous game. You likely put people in positions beyond their level of competence or sacrifice a good fit for the individual leader. You settle for a warm body instead of a weekly volunteer. In the area of church staffing, you either build staff or buy staff. The additional costs of bringing in someone from the outside are not just financial. A new staff member will spend months building relationships, gaining trust of fellow staff members and leaders, learning systems, and trying to fit in with your culture.
If you have a clear conviction that people development is at the core of what a church should do and you have a culture that is reasonably healthy, then you are missing constructs. These are the systems, processes, structure, people, and content you need to build and/or align to develop leaders. If you don’t have a clear conviction for development and a healthy culture, these constructs will only lead to confusion and frustration in your church.
Tomorrow we’ll look at some of the key elements of a leadership pipeline – what it is and how to develop one. For a more full explanation, be sure to download our free e-booklet here.