Leadership Development

Chris Miller, President of Miller Management, is the guest host of this week’s episode. He is joined by his colleague, Jon Pickens, Executive Pastor at College Church of the Nazarene.

Leadership Development – part one

This month we will highlight information from the book, “Building Leaders: Blueprints for Developing Leaders at Every Level of Your Church” by Aubrey Malphurs & Will Mancini. And discussing how church leaders implement some of these practices into their own organization.

Administrative Side of Ministry

Sometimes in leadership, you think you are going one way, but things can occur and you ultimately need to pivot from the original plan. Clear direction from senior leadership will help remove unnecessary obstacles, or barriers, and that ultimately allows staff to flourish.

“My love for people says I have to care about the details.” – John Pickens. Too often the details feel like the barrier. For instance, a budget should launch folks into action, not constrict them. That’s how our guest tries to approach the administrative side of ministry.

“If you do the administration and the details well, it enables ministry to go well.” – Chris Miller. That is ultimately the goal of Miller Management, and definitely the heart of this series.

Select, Develop, Empower, & Release Leaders

In the book mentioned above, they use a quote from George Barna that says, the American church is dying because of the lack of leadership. Our guest believes that leaders have to stand in the gap to provide good leadership. A leader stands in the gap of where they currently are and where God wants them to go. It can feel isolating and discouraging at times, too. Our guest also knows how important it is to train up second chair leaders as well. To serve as partners with the senior leadership.

How do we select leaders?

Our host points out that his pastor likes to use the phrase “pick up a towel, not a title.” Encouraging leadership to service. So how do we know if people are interested in a platform or a service position?

Our guest’s church uses criteria from the Ideal Team Player book, they use the filter of Hungry, Humble, and Smart. Team players are usually really invested in the concept of team and not their egos. Another criteria their church uses is Character, Competence, and Chemistry. The candidates are run through a mix of groups and let the interviewee do the talking as much as possible. If by the end, you can’t see hanging out with the person for a Chief’s game, then maybe they aren’t the right fit for your team/culture. You can trick people for a time, but ultimately, their true character shines through. Ministry is inherently relational.

To learn more about these ideas, visit our other posts on the Ideal Team Player and the 5 C’s of Proper Matching.

There are positive and negative reasons for selecting leaders from inside your own organization. For folks already a part of the team, consider utilizing a test run for a quarter or part-time position. And check back in in 3 months time to see how both sides are doing. Another way to select from inside is to utilize a farm system. Look to the young adult and youth groups and see who are the leaders now or who shows potential already who is already in the church. Already knows the culture.

Either way, for internal or external hires, don’t forget to check back in with people. Even those who know the culture and have been around for awhile.

How do you develop character?

For leadership development at College Church, conferences that others have done (like the Global Leadership Conference) or conferences that their denomination holds are ones their staff attend. The Pastors of this church are required to have continuing education each year. “It’s out of love for God and love for people that we want our staff to grow.” – Jon Continuing Ed is one way to accomplish that.

For emotional development, their church provides the opportunity to talk to a therapist. No reports are given, and this is a voluntary thing. The last way is spiritual development. They have a time of staff chapel where they bring in others to talk to their team. Maybe there is a way to do some of these things

Closing Thoughts

How we select and develop leaders plays a large part in the effectiveness of ministry. We hope you found some ways to be intentional in your staff’s leadership today. Remember: all leaders will need some level of development to reach their full potential.

Coming Up

Next week we will continue our series of Leadership Development, and listen to part two of this interview- how to empower leaders – and then how to release them to another job or another place.

Join the conversation, see behind the scenes, and learn more on our Instagram and Twitter.

Special thanks to our guest, John Pickens, and our masters of all things Podcasting, Chris and Lauren Miller, for this first episode in our Leadership Development series.