Tag Archive - next

1

How to Develop the Young Talent on your Church Staff

A lot of people are talking about a leadership crisis facing the church. Where are the next generation leaders going to come from to pick up the mantle of this movement called the church? While many are fretting and talking about it few are doing much about it. Most churches become paralyzed searching for the perfect, sophisticated, detailed leadership development box curriculum to help them chart a way forward. There is no perfect plan, and if you wait for one you’ll never actually do anything. So in that spirit here are 3 simple steps you can take to start developing the young talent on your church staff.

#1 Prepare them Ahead of Time

Give them plenty of practice! Create as many game-like repetitions as you possibly can before you throw them out there on the field and see if they can play. Set them up for success through training to hone their skills and develop their knowledge base. Help them come up with a great game plan (review the game plan with them ahead of time) and then send them out on the field to execute when they’re ready.

#2 Encourage them During Execution

Young leaders don’t learn to lead in a classroom but by leading. Let them get out there and run the play. Let them experience the thrill of winning and the struggle to overcome setbacks. Resist the urge to step in and micromanage. Unless what they’re about to do is going to significantly hurt the ministry then don’t rescue them. Let them figure it out. Resolve to simply cheer them on and support them while they’re on the field!

#3 Coach them After the Play

Review the “game film” together. Discuss how the game plan worked and where it didn’t (by the way there is no perfect plan and no plan survives contact with the enemy). Celebrate and reinforce what went right, correct what went wrong, and clarify what was confusing. Ask them what did they see and what they think they should do about it. Teach them to think and process through a leadership filter, not just mimic the play of others.

Rinse…and repeat.

Interested in learning more about developing young leaders? Check out these 10 Articles that will Help your Church Develop Young Leaders.


Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Staffing

0

Making the Assimilation Process Work at your Church

Stuckness is no respecter of the “brand” or “flavor” of a church. All kinds of churches across America are stuck. Large churches, small churches, old churches, new churches, Baptist churches, Methodist churches, Nazarene churches, Presbyterian church and even non-denominational churches are stuck. Lead long enough in a church and it will probably happen to you. Stuckness is such an epidemic in the American Church that Thom Rainer, President and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources has stated in his research that:

“Eight out of ten of the approximately 400,000 churches in the United States are declining or have plateaued.” Thom Rainer, Breakout Churches

And while there are a lot of reasons that churches get stuck and plateau or begin to decline the biggest culprit is that somewhere along the way new people stop getting connected or assimilated into the life of the church. It doesn’t have to be that way. Try giving the list below to the Sr. Leadership Team at your church to read and then come back and have an honest conversation about each point and identify opportunities to improve and islands of strength to build on.

Create an Engaging Guest Experience

I’ll admit that what I’m about to say may sound a little like heresy, but here goes. Instead of learning from other churches begin looking at other public spaces that people in your community enjoy going to. Visit resorts, restaurants, stores and other public venues that have a great guest experience and have people coming back for more. Take your teams, debrief, and build a list of what you can learn and principles and ideas that you can transfer to your local church.

Create Opportunities for People to Self-Identify

Guest parking, children’s check-in, a physical guest services location, and a communication card located in your church program or bulletin are all simple ways to create avenues for guests to self-identify. By a guest self-identifying they are essentially “opting-in” or giving you permission to speak with them. Instead of butting into people’s lives and spamming people are you engaging them in a dialogue with their permission.

Make it Personal

It’s a nice touch when I make reservations for my wife’s birthday and we show up at the restaurant to be greeted by a “Happy Birthday Mrs. Alexander,” (and I don’t mind the free dessert either). The more personal you can make it, the more memorable it will be. Instead of a cookie-cutter guest follow up letter, could you write a personal handwritten note? Could the person who greeted the guest and walked them around actually be the one writing it? How about a personal phone call to say, “Thank you for being our guest,” instead of trying to just get them to come back. Think: personal without intrusive.

Identify Next Steps for People

It can be frustrating going onto a church campus for the first time. It can seem like everyone else (insiders) already know where to go and what to do. It’s easy to feel like an outsider; in fact in can be plain intimidating. You can make it easier for people by thinking through a “what’s next” exercise with your team. Imagine a guest drives into your parking lot…what next? Imagine they find the right place to park…what’s next? Asking, “What’s next?” moving through the moment a guest arrives on your campus to the moment they leave will help you discover opportunities you have to make it easier for people to get connected at your church.

Make it Easy to Volunteer and get into a Group

People come to church for all kinds of reasons but they stay at a church because of relationship and responsibility. So instead of making it difficult to volunteer and get into a group make it easy. The best way to build a great assimilation process at your church is to focus on building a strong culture of volunteering and Bible Study Groups.

Create an Invitation Culture

When people come to church with people,assimilation becomes easy because there is already an existing relationship. In the same study conducted by LifeWay Research referenced above, they found the following to be true:

  • Most people come to church because of a personal invitation
  • 7 out of 10 unchurched people have never been invited to church
  • Only 2% of church members invite an unchurched person to church
  • 82% of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if invited

This post is an excerpt from an article that I originally wrote for Converge Point Magazine.


Posted in Leadership

2

3 Expectations that Young Church Leaders need to Change Today

A lot has been written in recent years about the Millennial Generation and young leaders; most of it negative. At the risk of sounding like the old guy in the room, I’ll admit, it does seem like the expectations of young leaders are a little off the mark. In fact, here are three expectations in particular that I think young leaders need to change today if they want to be successful in the future.

1. Mentoring & Development

Most talented young leaders are looking for someone to invest in and develop them, and rightly so. The only problem is leaders aren’t walking around looking to invest in people. They’re too busy leading big stuff. If you’re a young leader looking for development then don’t wait for someone to come along and take you under their wing. Chase someone who has what you’re looking for until you catch them.

2. Timeline

Most young leaders expect to be placed into significant leadership positions with great influence very quickly. Unfortunately landing that dream job in the church is probably going to take you longer than you think. Yes, you’re probably talented, and yes the church could probably benefit from your leadership influence. But trust is built up close and over time. And trust is the fuel that leadership runs on. Build trust and you’ll accelerate your leadership timeline.

3. Work Ethic

Most young leaders underestimate the amount of sheer work it will take to get where they want to go. Church leadership is not for the faint of heart, or for the lazy. Successfully pastoring in a growing local church setting isn’t a 40-hour a week; punch the time clock kind of a gig. It’s going to take real work, hard work. You’ll have to endure moments of hurt and disappointment. And you’ll have to have the tenacity to not give in. And keep working.

Interested in learning more about leading young leaders in the church today? Check out these 10 Articles that will help your church develop young leaders.


Posted in Leadership, Staffing

1

An Interview with William Vanderbloemen on Pastoral Succession

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with William Vanderbloemen, the founder and CEO of the Vanderbloemen Search Firm, to discuss his new book, “Next: Pastoral Succession that Works.” Every pastor is an interim pastor and succession planning is one of the most critical issues facing the church in America over the next decade. In partnership with Co-author Warren Bird, Director of Research at Leadership Network, William has brought the experience and the research together to provide churches and pastors with an incredible resource to help them navigate succession planning!  You can follow this link to get your own copy of this newly released book! Check out the interview below!

Free Resource: The First 5 Commandments of Pastoral Succession Planning

 


Posted in Leadership, Staffing