March 20, 2023
 min read

The Problem Isn't A Lack of Leaders

How to Develop Leaders: Identify 3-5 people in your area of ministry whom you see leadership potential in (not necessarily gifting yet). Have a conversation with them

The problem in the church isn't a lack of leaders, it's the development of them. As a millennial, I often hear from other older church leaders (looking at you baby boomers) that the next generation isn't stepping up, they aren't motivated and they are leaving the church.

In 8 years of church planting I can promise you that this is not true. Millennials, Generation Z and now Generation Alpha all want to be mobilized and called up.

We preach sermons about how young the 12 disciples were when Jesus called them. We talk about when Paul tells Timothy not to let people look down on those who are young. And yet, 90% of churches let less than 10% of people lead.

The church does not have a lack of leaders, but we have a problem identifying and developing them. Think back to when you were called to leadership. Someone tapped you, someone called you, someone said-I think I see this in you. And they walked with you, they let you fail, they developed you. It is a time-consuming journey, but one that we saw Jesus do again and again.

Friends, Jesus never called the super leaders (the Pharisees). In fact, he overlooked the super leaders and called those not leading. Often in churches, I see staff tap on those super leaders, the ones that will do everything. These are the ones that are yes men. However, often overlooked is the quiet man or woman who has the skills to lead relationally. Or the engineer who isn't as social, but can lead a class better than most.

Leadership development is not optional. It is imperative if we are meant to be people and churches that see the Great Commission accomplished. There is too much work to do. 90% of people can't keep sitting on the sidelines while 10% of the people lead.

Who in your church can you call-up? Whom can you train? Can you equip them? I have included a sample leadership pipeline just to get your mind rolling. As a word of caution, this will take work, it will take time. You will bang your head against the wall saying, you could have done it quicker and better. And you probably could have. But is that the call of Jesus?

How to Develop Leaders:

  • Identify 3-5 people in your area of ministry whom you see leadership potential in (not necessarily gifting yet).
  • Have a conversation with them (tell them that you see potential and ask if they would be willing to begin training and developing, do not promise them leadership).
  • Build a training program, this can be a simple weekly get-together, reading a book (Sticky Teams, Next Generation Leader, 5 Levels of Leadership).
  • Pray. Teach them to pray, and ask for the Holy Spirit to pour out more gifting in leadership over them.
  • Give them opportunities to lead: (what job can do of yours-maybe lead a volunteer pow wow, lead a Bible study, have a one-on-one with a new guest).
  • Evaluate their leadership along the way, and keep in mind as leadership grows so must their commitment to holiness. Their private life must be as holy as their public life. We don't need more leaders who are hypocritical, we need more leaders who genuinely love Jesus and are committed to holiness.
  • Release them! True leaders need to lead. You holding on too tightly will drive them away. It doesn't mean they don't need to be led, but they need to be coached rather than taught. Begin coaching your leaders, read Tony Stoltzfus Leadership Coaching.
Leadership Pipeline Example

Gym-rat, west coast, local church, Boy-mom.

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