5 PRINCIPLES TO STARTING & SUSTAINING A LEADERSHIP PIPELINE As a church begins to experience the joy of multiplication, a pipeline for developing leaders becomes a necessity.
Without a leadership pipeline, the joy of multiplication will soon be overtaken by the pain and stress of a leadership gap — that moment when you realize your church growth and multiplication has outpaced your leadership development and multiplication. What follows are five guiding principles for starting and sustaining a leadership pipeline.
1. KNOW THE GOAL As a wise animated figure once stated, “Knowing is half the battle.” Before you begin to develop your pipeline, you need to know the destination that you are trying to reach. Key questions to ask in order to discern your end goal include: What is the vision? How many leaders do you need to accomplish the vision? What kind of leaders do you need to accomplish the vision? We know that the goal of our pipeline is to discover, develop, and deploy disciple making church planters so that we can plant churches in 40 global gateway cities, among young adults. Knowing that goal helps us recruit leaders as well as create teachings & learning experiences. If the goal is not clear to you, you will work in default mode, getting the same results that you’ve always gotten.
2. AIM YOUNGER, NOT LOWER (WHERE WILL WE FIND THE LEADERS?) We look at recruiting leaders a lot like high school football. In the NFL, everyone is after the star so players get shuffled around. In NCAA football, coaches develop their program and try to recruit talented upcoming athletes to plug in. In high school, you work with what you’ve got. When possible, we look for leaders from within. Because our church is very young, it often means we are raising up very young leaders. Most churches wouldn’t hire our leaders, but we get the joy of walking with them and developing them from the ground up (Discover, Develop). Then we do it all over again because these young leaders go to expand the Kingdom (Deploy).
3. SLOW IS THE NEW FAST (HOW LONG WILL THIS TAKE?) Our leaders need to be developed in the areas of character and competency. Competency can be trained at a weekend training event, but character takes time…lots of time. So we embrace a slower discipleship process of developing leaders.
4. LET THEM PLAY Millennial leaders bring a lot of talent to the table, so it shouldn’t surprise us that they want a place at the table. We encourage you to led your emerging leaders actually lead. The classroom should lead to the playground. Ask yourself, “What can they do before they are fully ready?” Will you allow to lead small groups, preach or start new things?
5. SIMPLE, RELATIONAL, REPEATABLE How will you know if your pipeline is working? Easy, does it reproduce itself. It will if it’s simple, relational & repeatable. Simple — Give them something they can imitate so that they can innovate with it. Keep it simple! Relational — All of our learning is done in community. Repeatable — When your leaders begin to replicate your training in others, you know that it has worked.