by Brent Dolfo: Lee Kricher took on a nearly impossible task. In 2003, he became pastor of Amplify Church in Pittsburgh. It was a declining church of less than 200 aging parishioners.
Early in the process Lee cast vision for a “New Generation Church”, one where the attendees’ average age is at least as young as the average age of the community served by the church. Year after year, they focused on reaching and developing the next generation.
Fast forward to today: Amplify is a vibrant multisite church of over 2,000 people meeting in 3 locations. The average age of attendees is now 35 years old. Lee is in the process of handing over the reins to a younger leader, Jason Howard (25 years younger), to be his successor.
A number of key principles shaped Amplify and contributed to their success at reaching and developing younger leaders (which our webinar will unpack further).
#1 The leaders of tomorrow are already here
Rather than assuming that they need to recruit new leaders from outside of Amplify Church, they assume that future leaders will emerge from those who attend the church. Every leader is always looking for new leaders to mentor and build the kind of genuine and healthy relationships that allow those they are mentoring to develop their God-given potential.
Leaders at Amplify are particularly determined to proactively give young adults the opportunity to grow into leadership roles. As a New Generation Church, they practice the “75% Rule”: 75% of those in visible leadership during any given weekend service must be the average age of or younger than the community which they serve. That requires them to identify a lot of young people who have leadership potential!
#2 The primary role of every leader is to develop other leaders
Leaders at Amplify do not just make sure that their responsibilities are fulfilled with excellence. They are also committed to mentor others to do the same. Every leader at Amplify Church commits to mentor at least two people who can effectively carry out each of their key roles. That allows them to be “three-deep” at every key role in the church. There is no room at Amplify Church for indispensable heroes, and leadership effectiveness is best demonstrated when the leader is not present. If a person is told, “I am so glad you are back from vacation. It went badly without you here,” it is not a compliment. It is an indictment of poor leadership skills.
#3 Leaders grow while doing
While leaders can and will learn valuable truths through many avenues, they learn best when in action. That is why “shadowing” current leaders is the primary way of developing future leaders. After watching and experiencing how a current leader fulfills their role, future leaders try it themselves with the support and coaching of the current leader. Positive feedback coupled with feedback for improvement prepares the future leader for excellence in fulfilling their roles – and models for them how to develop others.
Want to Learn More?
Join us for a free Oct 18 webinar at 12pm Eastern, 11 am Central, 9 am Pacific. On it, Lee Kricher will be joined by Jason Howard, Lee’s named successor as senior pastor. The webinar will focus on keys to developing millennial leaders.
Lee and Jason will discuss foundational principles that have become a way of life at Amplify such as “The primary role of every leader is to develop other leaders” and “The leaders of tomorrow are already here.”
Lee is the author of For a New Generation: A Practical Guide For Revitalizing Your Church (HarperCollins), the Leadership Network-endorsed book that focuses on the transformation of Amplify Church from an aging, dying church to a healthy, growing church with all ages well represented.
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Source: Keys for Developing High Potential Millennial Leaders