When it comes to recruiting skills and training, we often focus on transferring knowledge. I would like to shift that toward a focus on competency and mastery. Traditional education is concerned with display of knowledge through testing. Consider how a person spends years in a specific college major only to find the real skills they need are gained on the job. Competency-based learning adds two more elements to traditional education: experience and coaching. The overlap of knowledge, experience, and coaching leads to transformation.1
Throughout the New Testament, we see essential qualifications for being a leader in the church. As part of your church’s leadership pipeline, you must identify core universal competencies or skills for each level of leadership to determine if someone is qualified and competent to serve at that level, regardless of ministry area. For example if someone leads a team of ushers or serves as a small group leader, they should each be competent in handling conflict. In addition to these core competencies, there are, of course, role-based skills as well.
Our team spent two years working with senior pastors, executive pastors, leadership experts, and consultants to develop a leadership pipeline for the church. The pipeline provides a framework of universal leadership competencies vetted by these ministry leaders. We also have created training pathways that are specific to ministry areas. Each pathway contains three specific levels of learning for volunteers, leaders, and ministry directors.
We believe people need a map, not a menu, for their training and development. To best equip the people God has entrusted to your care, your church needs a leadership pipeline and each person needs a training pathway. The primary tool for delivery of both leadership pipeline and training pathways content is our learning management system, MinistryGrid.com. Regardless of whether or not you choose to use the framework or content that we have developed, shifting the conversation from an information dump to transformation requires a competency-based approach to development.
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.
1. Eric Geiger and Kevin Peck, Designed to Lead (B&H Publishing Group, 2016), 163.