The awkwardness in the room was palpable.
The four couples look as stunned as kangaroos in a ute’s headlights.
They weren’t sure what this Ministry Development Group was all about. Nor did they know how keen I was to develop emerging leaders.
I had given them screeds of information when I invited to be in this exclusive group.
I’d told them that I saw a bright future for their leadership and wanted to spend time with them in their journey of growth.
However, no amount of knowledge prepares you for the reality of nervously gathering in the pastor’s home with a chosen group of leaders.
Over my years of pastoring, I’ve used various methods to develop emerging leaders.
One of my most successful methods has been gathering leaders together and allowing them to develop in the context of a group.
Jesus Used This Method to Develop Emerging Leaders
It’s worth noting that this proven method of development is what both Jesus and Paul used to grow leaders.
Jesus led an exclusive group of 12 leaders to be with Him.
There’s only one recorded instance of Paul travelling alone to plant churches. He landed in Athens all by himself having left Luke in Phillips and Silas and Timothy in Berea.
Paul later reminds the Corinthians how beaten up he was when he met them after his solo effort in Athens (1 Cor 2:1-3).
We see Paul time and again gathering leaders together to train and develop them into effective Christian leaders.
7 Benefits of a Leadership Development Group
It was the best of times.
It was the worst of times.
So begins the classic Dickens novel, A Tale of Two Cities.
It echoes my memories of leading our church staff.
It’s the best of memories.
It’s the worst of nightmares.
However, my overall experience of leading a church staff was wonderful. They developed me as I gave them opportunities to flourish in their call and passion.
While I didn’t always get it right I did gain valuable insights along the way.
How To Get The Best Out of Your Staff
Building a church staff can be one of the most rewarding elements of ministry life.
The sense of team spirit, shared achievement and mutual respect while serving together in the majestic cause of Christ is something to be treasured.
However, creating and cultivating a high-performance staff is not for the faint-hearted. It requires significant interpersonal skills, emotional maturity and a robust spirituality.
It requires a shift in a pastor’s thinking and orientation.
I guarantee you my church volunteer recruitment ideas will get you more volunteers.
While not easy to implement they are simple.
And you can do them.
The ideas revolve around one central strategy: an annual recruitment drive.
This simple strategy is a guaranteed way to gain new volunteers.
Plus it also serves as a time of:
- celebrating the work of your volunteers
- inspiring your current workers
- giving volunteers an opportunity to try something new
Eleven Key Elements Of An Annual Recruitment Drive
1. Conduct it over two or three weekends
It’s preferable to hold your drive at the start of your church year. Don’t restrict it to just one weekend as you will miss a sizeable portion of your congregation.
2. Preach on serving
During your weekend services, build your message around the value of serving and what it means to be a volunteer in your church.
3. Highlight unsung heroes
In your services focus on behind-the-scenes people whose work can tend to go unnoticed.
I knew it was going to be an awkward conversation.
This leader had been a loyal and fruitful staff member for some years. But something had gone wrong.
I didn’t know what had happened but I knew attitudes had changed, demeanour had altered and now we were both unhappy with how things were panning out.
So I had the awkward conversation.
It was uncomfortable to tell them that their time on our staff was coming to an end and they needed to talk with their spouse and start processing this major change.
It was awkward but then again we shouldn’t be surprised that awkward conversations are just that, awkward.
I’m not sure anyone ever trained me how to have these types of conversations. I just developed my own techniques over the years and stumbled my way through them.
Some went well. Others headed south pretty quickly.