Building a Sustainable Leadership Base

I want to share with you the 5 steps needed for a sustainable leadership base. In other words, how can I get leaders, keep leaders, and get more leaders? The answer to this is found in these five words: identify, recruit, train, and repeat.

Identify: First of all you set out to identify those with leadership potential. When looking for leaders remember what I call the “4 C’s”:

Character (Do they demonstrate Christian maturity?),

Competency (Do they have the skills, the gifts necessary for their task?),

Chemistry (Do the two of you get along well with each other?), Commitment (Are they clearly committed to the vision and direction of your church?).

Recruit: Don’t be afraid to ask. Whenever recruiting someone remember these two things: 1) be very clear and exact about your expectations and the ministry job description. 2) let the person know this will be an experiment, on a trial basis.

People are much more likely to say yes to being recruited if they know they have a way out if they end up not liking their ministry. You might say, “Let’s try this for a few months and see how it works out. If you end up feeling like this ministry is a bad fit for you then we will find you a replacement. And in the event that I come to the conclusion that this ministry is a bad fit for you, will you give me permission to tell you and to try and find a different area of service more fitting for your gifts and skills-set?”

Train: Different ministries require different training. Someone leading a small group needs a different skill-set than someone who helps out in children’s ministry. Ask yourself what specific training will this person need in order to succeed?

Maintain: Just because you’ve identified a leader, successfully recruited them, and adequately trained them does not mean your job is over. Leaders need to be maintained. What will your plan be to provide ongoing encouragement and resourcing? Remember the rule: If you don’t maintain your leaders they won’t remain your leaders.

Repeat: Recruiting leaders never ends. You can never have too many leaders. You never know when someone is going to move out of town or get mad and leave the church. Leaders are always looking for leaders.

If you want a sustainable leadership base in your church you must identify, recruit, maintain, and repeat.


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