By Todd Adkins: Churches and pastors would be wise to intentionally develop a leadership pipeline that recruits, trains, equips, mentors, coaches, and releases leaders empowering them to fulfill their calling. Here arefive steps for developing a leadership pipeline for leaders who will serve as multiplication catalysts, whether they are multiplying disciples, ministries, campuses, or churches.
1. Teach them core convictions.
Developing leaders without core convictions is like raising children with no boundaries. Usually, if parents raise children with no boundaries or no moral compass, they grow up to be wild and chaotic with morals and a lifestyle that are all over the map. If the church is to build an army and not an audience, it will need to develop leaders whose lives are built upon a gospel- centered theology. This lays a solid theological footing for the other four steps of leadership development.
2. Concentrate on developing character.
Character takes you where competency cannot. John Maxwell wisely notes, “Character creates a foundation upon which the structure of your talent and life can build. If there are cracks in that foundation, you cannot build much.”
Given that character is paramount to leadership development, we can be guilty of prematurely promoting competent people for ministry positions when their character is lacking. If the goal of leadership development is leaders who develop leaders and pour into others, we need to monitor what they are becoming and what they are pouring out.
3. Train them in core competencies.
If developing character is teaching leaders who they should become, training them in core competencies is teaching them what they should do. The important part here is understanding what you want them to do.
4. Cultivate a relationship with them.
Cultivating a relationship makes leadership development personal and communal, not just informational and mechanical. Aside from the Spirit of God working within individuals, the cultivation of a relationship that includes teaching core convictions, developing character, and training in core competencies aids in the transformation of individuals. This coincides with the understanding that transformation happens relationally and communally.
5. Serve as a coach for their continuous development.
As we release people to lead, we must have a structure in place for their continuous development. In other words, we should serve as coaches who not only give people ministry and tasks, but also provide them feedback and a sounding board as they seek to fulfill their ministry and tasks.
Leaders who tend to micro-manage probably do so because they (for whatever reason) haven’t developed a leadership pipeline that serves to empower people for ministry. By developing a mechanism to empower and release leaders capable of multiplication, churches are in a better position to progress towards movemental Christianity and become a Level Five church.