It’s the job of every pastor to develop leadership in their churches. First it’s in the volunteer leaders, then, as your church grows, leadership development transitions to focusing on the church staff. It’s the job of every church staff member to reproduce leaders in their own ministry areas. If we are going to be effective with quality leadership, we are going to have to talk about it often – including every staff or other leadership meeting. As Bill Easum puts it, in Effective Staffing for Vital Churches: The Essential Guide to Finding and Keeping the Right People, during staff meetings, the “to be” list should be longer than the “to-do list”.
Why should we focus at least 15 minutes of every meeting on leadership? Because unless your church staff is growing as true leaders, your church won’t reach it’s full potential. The purpose of leadership is to help move the organization forward. This happens as you grow and raise up people. Church staff (paid or volunteer) who are “doers” in a ministry role and are not building up people in leadership are not only robbing the church of meaningful roles, but setting up a up a financial and hierarchical mess in your leadership. Church staff should be focusing on developing leaders. Though it seems harsh, Bill Easum illustrates this point in this way: “If you walk around on Sunday morning and see your Director of Children’s Ministry teaching a Sunday School Class, fire him. Put another way, you don’t hire staff for singular roles to be filled, you hire staff to be recruiters and coaches, encouraging and equipping the church to be in ministry.
The best way to grow the church is to grow leaders and people who produce leaders. If this isn’t done intentionally, it won’t be won’t be done at all. As the leadership team grows, the organization grows.
Here are five ways to help develop productive and growing church staff team members in the first fifteen minutes of each weekly staff meeting:
– Teach a leadership concept – Dive squarely into leadership development so you can learn and grow together. This nugget of leadership can come from a book, from a blog post or from your own personal experience.
– Discuss a book you have read (either personally or as a staff team) – this will help to easily put everyone on the same page.-
– Use examples from your team – Pull out leadership principles from what you see working well. Where are people living up to the expectations to produce leaders? During your closed door staff meeting, be frank and honest and be comfortable with it! Sharpening each other isn’t always pleasant, but worth the effort and the, at times, awkwardness.
– Discuss the mission of the staff – The mission of the church staff is to serve the church by helping them grow in ministry to the world. This requires leading like Jesus – recruiting, equipping and sending. If your church staff is spending all of their time doing, they have a short-term outlook.
– Hold your staff accountable for spending a big chunk of time on recruiting and developing new leaders for their areas in ministry. Discuss the tips you have learned for connecting with people and keeping leadership development at the forefront what a ministry leader does.
As you are spending time in each meeting focusing one of these areas, you will begin to raise the leadership level of your church staff team.
How do I find time to raise up the leadership in our church staff?
That is a good question. With all the ministry obligations there are, it’s difficult to find time to gather material and the time in the schedule to develop leaders. Head over to the next post in this series to discover ways to find time to develop leadership material for your next staff meeting.
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