The awkwardness in the room was palpable.
The four couples look as stunned as kangaroos in a uteâ€™s headlights.
They werenâ€™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.
Iâ€™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 pastorâ€™s home with a chosen group of leaders.
Over my years of pastoring, Iâ€™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
Itâ€™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.
Thereâ€™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
Church health and church growth fascinate me.
I’m always on the look out for church growth strategies that work. I’m interested in proven tactics that get the job done.
I’ve asked six pastors from Brisbane, Australia to share with us church health and church growth strategies that work for them in their context.
They pastor a wide range of different size churches from various movements.
However, they have one thing in common.
They all pastor in Brisbane, the vibrant capital city of the tropical paradise of Queensland.
I’ll never forget the first time I heard Bill Hybels speak.
25 years ago my good friend Phil Baker invited him to speak at a church leader’s seminar and I still remember one of the stories he told about reaching lost people.
I call that powerful preaching!
His ability to articulate his passion for evangelism was superb.
His stories and heart made an indelible impression on me that day and ultimately had a big influence on our church.
Subsequently, I attended two leadership seminars at his church.
I’ve Been To Hybels’ Church in Chicago
In 2000 Di and I attended the Global Leadership Summit at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago and saw Hybels interview Bill Clinton who was in the last months of his presidency. Boy, did that create some controversy!
Then in 2003, I attended a leadership intensive at Willow Creek with my good friend Rod Waters.
Both of these events left their mark.
Bill Hybels is undoubtedly one of my all-time favourite leaders.
I’ve been consistently inspired by his leadership, longevity and courage.
He also possesses the ability to make complex things simple. Being an exemplary leader makes me curious as to how he would define leadership.
He’s married to Anna and has four awesome children.
Rob’s coordinated training for the CRC Churches International movement and heads up the local Casey Pastorsâ€™ Network.
He holds an M.A. from Tabor College and is currently completing a Ph.D. with the University of Divinity in Melbourne.
And the really good news is that Rob is joining us to become a Grow a Healthy Church consultant and coach while continuing to pastor his church.
I’ve trained Rob in our consulting framework and methodology and heartily recommend him.
So if you’d like a consult with Rob please contact him here.Rob’s blogging for us today on the topic of coaching for leadership development.
Coaching Helps Us Deal With Blind Spots
A few years ago, a book came out that was called A Few Things Iâ€™ve Learned Since I Knew It All.
We live in an information-saturated age where it is perhaps too easy for people to assume expertise, though all of us are still always learning â€“ even relearning â€“ in the light of new experiences.
We have never â€˜arrivedâ€™, but constantly adapt to a world that is changing around us.
We continue to grow as we deal with blind spots, rather than have them deal with us! Coaching clearly helps make that work.