4 Ways to Cultivate Leaders on Your Team

lightstock_73260_xsmall_deborah_wipfA significant aspect of leading your church involves cultivating the next generation of leaders within your staff.  As the church grows, your ability to directly impact individuals in the congregation is reduced.  You can’t talk to every person or conduct every hospital visit.  You have to depend on your staff to handle some of these responsibilities and to develop volunteer leaders who can also serve the congregation.

This cascading of leadership requires continual growth and development to bear fruit.   That sounds like it could require a huge investment of time and energy – and at times that may be necessary.  However, there are ways to develop your team without wearing yourself out.

Here are four ways you can make an impact on your team and fuel their growth as leaders:

#1: Mentoring

Setup a reoccurring monthly meeting to coach the next generation of leaders.  Invite them to bring their leadership questions, set a topic for each month, or go through a book or article together.  Share your experiences – your successes and failures – and what you learned from each.

#2:  Training

You may find that members of your team need to develop specific skills and need some in-depth training.  This could include training on how to use certain software programs such as MS Excel, how to plan and manage projects, etc.  Have them research various training options and then send them to the best one.  When they return, have them train other members of the team to reinforce what they learned and share knowledge with others.

#3: Conferences

Whenever possible, set aside money in the budget for attending 1-2 conferences each year.  These are great opportunities to learn from other ministry leaders, reconnect with old friends, and establish new relationships.

Make sure you take a few team members with you to these events.  You can debrief during meals and talk about how your church could implement some of the concepts presented during a session.  You’ll deepen the relationships within your team and return to the office with new ideas to benefit your congregation.

#4: Day-to-Day Coaching

This includes the minor course corrections and encouragements you offer on a regular basis to your staff.  When they’re getting off track, pull them aside and talk about what’s going wrong and discuss options for fixing the issue.  When they knock it out of the park on a project, celebrate their success and discuss how to keep that momentum going on future projects.

There are many great ways to pass down the lessons you’ve learned to the next generation.  The longevity of your church depends on your ability to raise up new leaders, so this is a vital responsibility.

Your team looks to you for vision and direction.  Keep investing in them – your time and effort will pay off as your team succeeds, causing your church to grow and more people to be discipled.

  • My boss always tells me “choose to believe the best about people”. It’s great advice to heed as a leader when having day to day coaching moments and even more important during those “hard conversations.”

    You provided some great tips. Thank you.

    • Thanks, Brady! It can be tough to believe the best when having to confront poor performance or behavior. However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised a few times when what I thought was a rogue team member was really just someone who didn’t understand the expectations.