Every church I visit is looking for leaders. It’s vital each church develops an atmosphere that attracts and develops leaders. How does this happen?
Expand the “shallow end” of the pool.
Emerging leaders need to know there is a place to get their feet wet. Try to double your invitations and opportunities to attract new and potential leaders. Create a new leaders orientation experience and make it safe for potential leaders to sprout their wings. Creating a wading pool for those not yet ready to swim in the deep waters gets them accustomed to and loving the pool.
Expand the “Deep End” of the pool.
If your leadership pool is only 4ft deep, your highest capacity leaders won’t find a place to swim. Be sure to create special opportunities and invitations to get the “Level 10” leaders engaged. If you don’t have the highest-level leaders (the “10s”), you won’t attract the 7’s, 8’s and 9’s who want to swim deep in your leadership community. What is it you want to get done but lack the horsepower to do? Maybe take a risk and ask a new “big dog” leader to tackle it!
Ignite the practice of apprenticing.
Make apprenticing a primary ‘bullet’ for any leadership position, whether paid or voluntary. Train them how to invite someone to be an apprentice with your existing leaders.
The fun factor.
Working together ought to be fun; create an enjoyable feel to the team. Demonstrate appreciation and support via retreats, training, friendship, recreation and meals together. Team members must love what they do!
Create a tropical environment.
Foster growth and creativity and allow the freedom to take risk and fail. Learn from failure and laugh about it. Give them lots of room.
Commit to the cause first and each other second.
Cause creates community. Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Be very clear about the cause. Your team must have a shared destiny and calling. I like the view of a team with a cause as seen in the film “A Band of Brothers.” Teams with a cause fight through together.
Saying it’s “the cause first and each other second” sounds frightening. The truth is that it’s the cause that gathers us and keeps us together. Perhaps as much as 50% of what it takes to create great team leadership and uncompromising loyalty is having a clear compelling cause.
Characteristics of leadership culture.
Here’s a brief summary of the characteristics of a healthy leadership culture:
- Friendship… It’s good to work with people we like.
- Integrity… A good leader is teachable, has a passion for God, is a grace person, has a solid work ethic and is respected.
- Chemistry… Your team should feel the sense of “team”, enjoy each other, like being together, and have a sense that they “fit.”
- Gifting / Capability… Leaders know and exercise their God-given gifting.
- A Compelling Cause… A clear vision captures people’s hearts and the Kingdom of God is such a cause. Leaders flock to this.