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The Best Path to Accelerate the Development of High-Capacity Leaders in Large Churches


By Brent Dolfo: In their newly released research on multisite trends, Dave Travis and Warren Bird reveal some of the ‘why’ behind “the dramatic growth of church planting and of multisite,” particularly among the emerging generation of leaders. According to the report, leaders are converging on a new mindset: one that values not just reproduction, but multiplication. It is a vision that involves planting churches and launching campuses that, in turn, multiply through new church starts and campus launches.

This multiplication focus has led senior and executive pastors to an increased emphasis on the development of high-end talent from within their own large churches.  Churches that are having the most success in this endeavor are strategically appointing Pastors/Directors of Leadership Development. These leaders carry the primary responsibility of ensuring enough leaders are raised up so the multiplication of church plants and multisite locations can continue to flourish.

Another critical success factor for churches that look to accelerate their leadership development efforts: they choose not to go it alone.

That’s where Leadership Network’s cohorts have had such a tremendous impact. Over the past several years we have served hundreds of leaders who wanted to upgrade their leadership development models to increase the quality and quantity of high-capacity leaders developed from within. The ability to accelerate learning and speed up the implementation of new models for leadership development has had a profound impact on the health and growth of these churches.

Steve Hutmacher, an executive pastor at Cedar Creek Church described the benefits they saw this way:

“We really appreciated the collaboration with other churches and pastors learning from them. Coming in we thought we were doing good at leadership development, but now we see a path to becoming a lot better. With our renewed emphasis on developing our campus pastors, we’re seeing them focus more on the development of their leaders and teams.”

Cedar Creek, like so many large and growing churches, recognized the pressing need to continually develop enough leaders who can effectively oversee ministry teams and future campuses. But rather than try and figure it out on their own, they chose to engage in a process and experience that exposed them to effective models, engaged them in dialogue with other leaders, and encouraged their progress through coaching and accountability.

But it all starts with a clear understanding of your church’s needs.

A simple question to ask yourself to assess leadership development in your church would be: “If your church was to grow by 50% in the next year, would you have enough quality leaders to handle the influx of new members, ministry opportunities, and locations?”

For most large churches, the answer is “no.”

In May of this year, Leadership Network will launch its next experience for large churches that recognize the need for “upping their game” in leadership development.  Its called the Leadership Development Accelerator, a 12-month experience that goes beyond anything we’ve offered before.  The Leadership Development Accelerator will guide your team in:

Building a stronger bench of high potential leaders able to tackle the next wave of ministry opportunities ahead of you.
Engaging with several of the best church models of leadership development in the U.S.
Learning from some of the most dynamic, multi-national businesses about how they’re developing high potential leaders.
Clarifying your church’s unique core leadership competency profile, providing a baseline to compare to potential leaders
Retooling your processes for taking the raw material of high potential young staff and making them “better, faster.”
Using data to compare the profile of your existing senior leaders to those already sitting in your pews to determine who potentially might have the “right stuff” to be a future key leader.

If you are looking to leap ahead in your ability to develop high-capacity executive and campus level leaders, the Leadership Development Accelerator will provide you with the insights, relationships, and tools your growing church needs. Space in our upcoming group is limited. Set up a discovery call today by completing the form below.


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