Churches consist of many groups and subgroups with both formal and informal hierarchical layers. We must recognize that churches don’t drift toward simplicity. Churches drift toward complexity over the course of time, regardless of size. Two modern phenomena add complexities to churches: the multisite model and digitization of modern life.
A multisite church model brings the challenge of creating and managing church culture through shared experiences and environments while aligning the groups and subgroups as they become increasingly complex and geographically diverse. The digitization of life means that droves of people are now working from home, Starbucks, and the next stoplight. Even if they attend your church every week, they can access the same number of sermons on their commute as they might hear from you in a year. People used to come to church three times a week. Now we are lucky to get them through the door three times a month.
What does that mean? In this daunting new paradigm, high-level leaders must constantly and consistently create and embed shared values in their church culture. I will examine six components that make up a recruiting culture: Scripture, strategy, structure, systems, skills, and style.1
These components correlate with our leadership pipeline philosophy and framework.2 Leadership pipeline does not solely focus on top levels of leadership or key leaders but is a long-term investment in the church or organization’s most valuable resource: people. A leadership pipeline provides a clear process of development, so each volunteer, leader, coach, ministry director, or senior leader knows their next step.
Most people hear “leadership pipeline,” and think vertical advancement. I want you to understand success in a leadership pipeline is not always progression. Success in a leadership pipeline occurs when a person is becoming who God has created them to be and multiplying themselves at their current leadership level.
Over the past two years, LifeWay Leadership has had the privilege of walking over 2,800 church leaders through our Pipeline process. The number one reason why they say they attend is because they need more volunteers, leaders, coaches, and ministry directors. Whatever level of their church’s leadership pipeline they oversee, they would say, “I need more people!”
Odds are likely that you feel the same. Audit your current ministry.
- How many leaders do you have?
- How many leaders do you need if:
- You grow by 15%?
- You start another service?
- You want last year’s Easter attendance to be your church’s average weekly attendance?
This is an excerpt from Creating and Curating a Recruiting Culture by Todd Adkins. Learn more about creating a culture of recruiting in your church and download the full booklet here.
- Adapted from Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman, In Search of Excellence (New York: HarperCollins, 2006), 9-10.
- Adapted from Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter, and James Noel, The Leadership Pipeline T(San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001), 8.