Your Church’s Future Depends on Leadership Development

Almost every leader will say they believe leadership development is important. The challenge comes in finding time, structure, and content to do it consistently and well. Leaders are busy people. We have great intentions about investing in our teams, but our follow-through often gets pushed aside by the sheer number of competing demands on our time. Investing in our people has many benefits. Just to list a few of those benefits, leadership development:

  • Improves morale: Team members feel valued when we invest in their development, whether that’s personal or professional. People who feel valued at work are more positive about their role and their organization.

  • Increases team engagement: People who feel valued and who are growing in their roles are more actively engaged and fulfilled, and that’s critical to developing a thriving culture. High team engagement leads to greater productivity, focus and impact.

  • Builds trust and deepens relationships: Team members who are highly engaged in their work and feel valued are more collaborative and tend to demonstrate greater trust and respect. When team members go through a development activity together, a unique bonding happens through that shared experience, deepening relationships.

  • Inspires confidence: As peoples’ skills and knowledge grow, and they see that their leader thinks enough of them to devote time, energy and possibly money to help them grow, it inspires confidence in themselves.

  • Enables innovation: Leadership development expands thinking. As leaders are exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking, their perspective broadens, and new possibilities emerge. Innovation keeps an organization relevant and alive.

Leadership development is critical to the future of every organization, including your church. However, most church leaders I know are struggling to find and develop new leaders who can grow with the organization and carry it forward. We all need a deeper bench of leaders. Change happens – people retire, move to another city, and leave jobs due to health. When you’re facing a gap in leadership, wouldn’t you rather have someone you know has potential, a passion for your mission, and whom you’ve been investing in ready to step in? So, what are some easy ways to provide leadership development for your team? Forward them articles or videos you think would expand their knowledge or skills base. Encourage them to invest some time each month – even thirty minutes to an hour – learning something new related to their role or personal development. Google, YouTube, Coursera, and your local community college might offer some relevant options. Invite them to network with other church leaders who they can bounce ideas off of and learn from.

Yvonne Gentile is our Guest Experience & ShareChurch Lead Director, a former retail industry executive, and co-author of four books. She and her husband Frank have been part of Resurrection since 1996. Together they enjoy movies, road trips, and spending time with family.