Article by Heidi Piersall
Developing great church leaders is a vital process for the life and success of your organization and is key for church health. The business world has long since looked at human capital as a company’s greatest intangible asset. It’s the secret sauce, so to speak, that extra something that makes good things great. You can have the best product or services, but it’s the people behind the products and services that create that added value that can’t always be measured. Take Apple for instance. There are brilliant programmers and designers all over the world, but it was the innovative mind of Steve Jobs that pushed Apple products into the forefront of today’s society, making it one of the most globally used products.
This same principle is true of the church. We can have great Sunday services, fun children’s programs and small group structures in place, but it’s the leaders of these areas that bring the heart, authenticity and presence of God in to our organization. Take for instance Bethel’s School of Supernatural Ministry, BSSM. There are other schools teaching similar bible classes and giving their students opportunities to lead and grow. However, it is the leaders of BSSM environment that are bringing the most impact to the students. They are the human capital that is driving the culture of the school and ensuring that the vision that the founders had for the school is being carried through to every class and every interaction with students. You could teach the same content in another school, but it wouldn’t have the same outcome. The leaders of your church have that same potential to perpetuate the culture you are developing and see it firmly rooted in your people.
The leaders of your church are an intangible asset to your organization. It’s imperative to be intentional and take the time and energy to identify, recruit, and train your leaders. To identify a leader, look for someone who is faithful, available, and teachable. In the sports world, you often hear coaches describe what they are looking for in an athlete. Many presume that the athlete with the greatest talent is sought after first, but more times than not, a coach is looking for an athlete that is coachable. Are they willing to receive instruction? If the answer is no, it will be hard to help them grow past where they are. If the answer is yes, then the opportunity for growth is limitless. Just as with an athlete, those who are teachable are great people to make an investment in.
Once you’ve identified the potential leaders in your environment, it’s time to recruit and train. Find out who they are and their personal destiny. It is vital that the role you are proposing they step into benefits their personal destiny, as well as the organizational destiny. Take time to discuss expectations such as time, energy and training, and develop a plan together that will lead to the desired outcome. Once this is accomplished, it’s time to train your leader. There are four general steps that apply to training for any position:
- You watch me do it.
- We do it side by side.
- You do it while I watch.
- You do it and I give you feedback.
Once you’ve appointed and trained your leaders, it’s important to not leave them to fend for themselves. Dialogue with them and their team and monitor how the plan is being executed. Give support where needed and continue to develop them in their personal destiny. Remember that as their leader, your belief in them is immensely important. Nurturing your leaders breathes life into them and strengthens their life. Running the race together is a rewarding experience, and when we run together with other leaders, we can actually go further faster than we can go on our own.