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
My resignation letter was written.
It was skillfully crafted and I was ready to show it to Dianne and tell her my well-founded reasons for wanting to quit the ministry.
As we sat in a beautiful seaside cafe I told her I was tired, discouraged and over it.
Then I showed her the letter. She read it and then put in her pocket.
I never saw it again.
Dianne told me that she wasn’t going anywhere and that there had to be another way.
Thankfully we found another way and I didn’t quit.
There have been other times when I’ve wanted to quit and walk away from being a pastor.
What has kept me from quitting?
7 Reasons Why I Have Never Quit Ministry
One way I’ve developed my leadership skills is observing skilful leaders. Watching their ways has been a way for me to accelerate my learning.
Earlier this year I interviewed a man who has had a significant impact on my leadership life, Phil Pringle, who is Senior Pastor of C3 Oxford Falls and founder of the C3 Church movement.
I interviewed Phil for our Member’s Hub but thought I’d give you a taste on my blog.
You can access the entire interview and all the other resources of the Hub for just $1 for the first month.
John Finkelde: What have you done to increase your capacity as a leader? Jesus has obviously called you to lead. What have you done to shift levels of your life, or shift ceilings?
Phil Pringle: I’m not sure if I’ve actually done much at all in that I think Jesus has done probably most of it and I’ve never enjoyed one iota of His processes of increasing capacity.
James says “count it all joy when encounter various trials because this will increase your patience, which is basically capacity.
Your ability to cope with anything – pressure, negative situations, all kinds of things – over a period of time. So while He lets you live with a situation you’ve asked him to fix, He doesn’t fix it and you’ve gotta keep on living with it for a long period of time. That trial will definitely increase your capacity.
I was the new kid on the block.
Young, impetuous and slightly driven. Well, maybe a bit more than slightly driven.
I was the youth pastor, 28 years old and I’d been given a position on our church board.
And it was going swimmingly well until that board meeting.
One of the older board members got me in his sights and let go with both barrels. I was as stunned as a kid at his first day in a new school.
Today, I can’t remember what the fuss was about but I do remember the unbridled anger, the stinging words that cut deep.
Worse still, no board member stood up for me.
It was out of control.
There was fury in the room and I was the target.
After the fury an awkward silence filled the room, I mumbled an inadequate response and we moved on to other business.
My ongoing board experience taught me that fiery conflict was unfortunately entrenched in that board’s culture.
However, conflict in churches is never restricted to boards. It abounds in various arenas.