The best way to move a church forward is for the pastor to invest time developing leaders. The leaders you hired (paid or volunteers) presumably are the best you can find. They are capable and smart, but like everyone in the world, need leadership to keep moving forward. They need to be acknowledged for their work, they need to know where they are heading, and desire clearly articulated outcomes for their specific roles.
Most pastors are overwhelmed with this idea. Finding the time to develop church staff seems so daunting, it often happens, but not intentionally.
But there is hope! Your job is to open the door for leadership development and inspiration and your team’s job is to act on it. You can do this in as little as fifteen minutes each week at your staff or other leadership meetings.
In a group meeting, you should take 10-15 minutes or so to talk about one or more of these aspects to your ministry: vision, development, purpose and leadership growth of your staff.
Where do you find this material? Here are five ways to get material to talk about:
1) Through Scripture
The Bible speaks volumes about leadership development. Take a look at Moses and Jethro, the Apostles choosing others to wait on tables, Nehemiah assembling a huge crowd to rebuild the walls of the city, Paul taking on young mentors and the list goes on. Read and study these passages (and others) together.
2) Through Reading
Leaders should be reading on a regular basis. Take notes on the books you have read and talk about those concepts at your next meeting. The fresher the better.
3) Through Learning
Pastors should always be learning. Have you recently attended a conference, listened to a podcast, watched a webinar? Take two or three concepts and prepare them to discuss with the church staff.
4) Through Passion For The Church
Pastors have one of the toughest jobs on the planet. And if they have been leading faithfully for any length of time, you can safely bet they have a love for Jesus and the church. Pastors should tap into the root of this passion, their call, their purpose, the thoughts about “why” in regards to the church. You will uncover a gold mine of information and heart for leadership to share.
5) Through Experience
One of the best ways to gather info is through your experience. What have you learned the hard way? Share the story, the outcome and the principles you now live by as a result.
HOW TO MAKE THE TIME…
I know time is a precious commodity. I won’t rehash the facts that flood blog posts about good time management. But we can boil it down to this: You make time for what is important to you. If you find this to be important, make the time to do it. Here are some suggestions.
1. Commit to quality leadership development in your church staff. Decide you will do it.
2. Block off a morning in the next week to strictly think (without internet, phone or devices) about what areas of leadership you and your team need to grow into.
3. Set a goal for yourself to read a certain number of books. On average, pastors buy and read a book a month! That’s good – keep it up! I was challenged last year to read a book a week. The challenge for whatever reason stuck and I did it. This year my goal has been to read seven books a month. We’re nearly half way through the year and I am still on track. Always keep a book with you while you wait for appointments. Always have an audio book in your car. Read for one hour each day.
4. Wake up a little earlier. This one thing has changed much of how I go about my goals. The extra time in the morning, with an ongoing routine, has helped shape who I am over the last few years.
5. Focus. If you are like most of the hundreds of effective pastors I know, your schedule is full. You can’t squeeze much more in. So, how do you find time? Focus. It’s true that focus can be something we have. But it’s also something we do. We choose to focus on something. This means saying “no” to other great things, but it’s saying yes to the best thing. One suggestion for help in this area might be to pick up Essentialism by Greg McKeown. Learn to make leadership development one of your main things. Focus on it for a while and see what fruit comes of it.
HERE’S A RESOURCE FOR YOU
To aid in your process of leadership development, I have created 12 Church Staff Development Sheets that can be easily printed, distributed and discussed with staff. As a ministry leader, I love being able to go to a website to simply print a quick one page sheet that would provide discussion and teaching for our team. So, we have assembled this for you.
Each one page session is on a specific topic pertinent to leadership development discussions for church staff teams. Each page includes a short focus thought, a quote, a scripture, action steps and discussion questions. Best of all, it’s a quick one page print out that you can either send out before the meeting or just hand it out as people come in to the meeting.
This isn’t a curriculum, each one stands alone. You can use them in sequence or you can intersperse them with your own leadership development notes for your staff. You can discuss one for the first 10 – 15 minutes of each weekly staff meeting for a semester or you can just print them off when needed.
Topics in this first module include “Characteristics for Church Staff,” “How to Stay Fresh in Ministry,” “How to Lead Effective Meetings,” “A Call to Focus,” “Qualities of a Supportive Minister” and several more. In disclosure, I have written about these topics in various places, but they are now all formatted and able to be downloaded to print and share among those on your team.
DOWNLOAD ALL 12 – valued at $23.99, but available now for only $17.99, less than two dollars per meeting! You will be able to immediately access your downloads, ready for print!
You will be able to immediately access this digital download and use for your staff meeting this week.
I hope your church staff will become more fruitful and conversations will grow deeper through these development topics.