By Todd Adkins
When I lived in D.C., I often saw advertisements for cruises to nowhere. What is a cruise to nowhere? It is a lot like it sounds. A ship would leave the port of Baltimore and meander around the ocean, never stopping at any island or any port of call along the way. You would end up right back where you started.
Unfortunately, training in a lot of our churches and organizations is a cruise to nowhere. People don’t know where they are going.
We believe people need a map for their training and development. A map provides steps and clarity to guide someone throughout the process of leadership development.
As part of your church’s leadership pipeline, you must identify core universal competencies for each level of leadership to determine if someone is qualified and competent to serve at that level, regardless of ministry area.
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
I know what you’re thinking, universal core competencies for churches? Research shows that 70 percent of leadership is transferable from position to position, even across different organizations. Our leadership pipeline contains core competencies and learning objectives for every level of leadership in the church. When competencies are clearly defined within your church’s leadership pipeline, you make it easy for volunteers and leaders to serve in different areas of ministry at their current leadership level and to know their next steps for development.
We also recognize that while universal leadership competencies exist, there are role-based skills unique to each ministry area of the church. For example, if someone serves as a small group leader or guest services team leader, they should each be competent in handling conflict. But the small group leader also needs role-specific skills like how to lead a group discussion and caring for group members while the guest services team leader needs to know best practices for welcoming first-time guests and how to plan for safety and security in the worship center.
In addition to leadership pipeline competency training on Ministry Grid, we have also created training pathways that are specific to ministry areas, like kids, students, small groups, Sunday School, church hospitality, guest services, and women’s ministry, to name a few, Each pathway contains three levels of learning: volunteer, leader, and ministry director to make it easy, obvious, and strategic for your church to implement along with your leadership pipeline.
To best equip the people God has entrusted to your care, your church needs a leadership pipeline and each person needs a training pathway. So, what’s your training map for 2020?
For more information on leadership pipeline, check out our Ministry Grid course here.