Are you facing challenges in developing enough leaders? We have new resources that can help you.
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6 Tough Leadership Development Challenges Churches Face

Hello Church Leader,

If you’ve been around Leadership Network for long you know that leadership development in the church has been one of our key topics for more than a decade. EVERY church needs more and better leaders, and churches with a vision to grow and multiply must develop more and better leaders for that vision to become a reality.

Today I want to highlight six tough leadership development challenges that churches face, and let you know about a series of content we’ve created to help you overcome these challenges.

Cultivating leaders, not just doers.
Michael Fletcher, Senior Pastor of Manna Church in Fayetteville, NC, says that “Leaders respond to vision. Doers respond to need.” Unfortunately, many of our churches and ministries come across as “needy” when asking people to serve. The focus is on “helping” with the work to be done, rather than the vision for Kingdom Impact. Ministries become filled with members who perform tasks instead of leaders who multiply ministry. “Leading a ministry” becomes synonymous with “doing the ministry,” causing those with real leadership capacity to burn out and those with the title of “Leader” to remain entrenched in their ministry position.

Creating a culture that actually champions leader development.
As the saying goes, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” And if you’ve been a leader for long, you know how true that statement is. You can have the greatest systems and structures for developing leaders, but if your culture doesn’t serve as a catalyst for multiplying leaders, you will never have enough. Many churches focus on the methods for leadership development without ever addressing cultural issues that are creating a drag on their growth. Strategy and culture are like the two wings on an airplane. You won’t get far without both.

Employing key practices that actually work.
Many church leaders busy themselves with doing ministry and wonder why leaders aren’t being developed. Busy leaders often operate without a ‘playbook’ that guides them on how to discover, develop, and deploy leaders at all levels of ministry. They also lack the metrics necessary to evaluate whether or not their efforts are successful. As a result, they end up caught in a downward spiral of activity that consumes precious resources without ever producing the needed “more and better leaders”. Most leaders in this scenario throw up their hands convinced that “leadership development isn’t working here.”

Building a strategy that focuses effort.
As I stated earlier, churches need culture and strategy to be successful in developing leaders. But it must be a strategy that focuses effort rather than fracturing it. How do you know the difference? Here’s a quick test: If every department in your church has its own system and strategy for developing leaders, you’re going to create confusion. Few churches do the hard work required to develop a strategy and structure that allow them to capitalize on the 80% of leadership characteristics that are the same across all departments. Only 20% of your characteristics should focus on the unique context of each ministry.

Being prepared for growth.
Growing churches often create a scenario where church growth outpaces leadership growth. Their lack of leadership development becomes the barrier to ongoing multiplication. It's quite simple: the reason you don’t have the leaders you need today is that you didn’t do the work of developing them yesterday. And the reason you won’t have the leaders you need tomorrow is that you aren’t doing the work of developing them today.

Understanding the barriers for female leaders.
In every church I’ve attended, the number of female members was always greater than the number of male members while the number of male leaders was much greater than the number of female leaders. Why is that? There are a variety of reasons, I’m sure. But one that every church has in common is the lack of understanding of the invisible barriers that exist for female leaders. Gender bias can be real in the church. We need to own it and understand it if we hope to release the full potential of the women leaders in our pews.

Are you confronted with any of these challenges in your church? Over the past several weeks our team has developed a series of resources that address each of the six challenges. This content will help you:

  • Turn team members into team leaders
  • Understand 5 key principles of a successful leadership development culture
  • Uncover 4 keys to leadership effectiveness
  • Take the first steps toward developing a custom leadership pipeline
  • Learn how growing churches avoid the leadership development crisis
  • Introduce you to 8 best practices for developing female leaders

To access these resources, simply click or tap on the banner below to opt-in. Then over the next several weeks, we’ll send you an exclusive series of emails delivering this important content right to your inbox.

Tim Nations
Executive Director

Leadership Network, 1328 N Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach, NC 28428, United States

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