For today’s Whiteboard Wednesday- Doug McClintic describes how we can cultivate a leadership community in order to facilitate leadership development.
Interested in forming a leadership community in your church? Start by holding a monthly leadership meeting to work toward a shared vision, and intentional skill development, as you huddle ministry leaders together. The best approach is to invite all volunteers – leaders and laborers – to attend. You can also invite people who are considering volunteering. This ministry of leadership community not only facilitates ongoing communication and leadership of the church, but also builds trust, transparency, and volunteer recruitment.
Here is a suggested schedule for the monthly leadership meeting:
First, consider holding the meeting on a Sunday evening, and begin with a community meal during the first hour. The meal can be a potluck or you can have it catered. Either way, the meal is a time of fellowship and connection.
After the meal, enter into around 30 minutes of worship, where you are teaching songs to the core group or leadership group. This is a great way for them to support congregational singing on a Sunday morning or whenever you have worship gatherings.
About 30 minutes later, the pastor can do some vision casting. Remember that vision leaks, and it leaks about every 30 days. The monthly meeting is a great opportunity to cast vision, especially to leaders and your volunteers.
Afterwards, break up each of the groups into ministry huddles. For example, have all the children’s workers meet together in one group, then the hospitality team in another group, then the worship team, the prayer team, and so forth. All the different aspects of your ministry will have a huddling time where everyone can give their ministry reports to one another. Patrick Lencioni once said that one of the signs of a miserable job is anonymity and a feeling of irrelevance. If people don’t give their ministry report to someone, they will give their ministry report to everyone in the form of complaints or gossip. So this is a great place for them to give their ministry reports in a sort of informal yet official way. It is also a great way to solve problems and work on communication about things that are going on in the daily life of your church.
Following that, gather everyone together again and provide them with basic skills training. For example, you could train people on how to have grace and truth conversations, or how to more effectively teach, or how to invite friends and neighbors over to your place for hospitality, or how to be more hospitable at church, etc..
There was one community that did a lesson on how to encourage one another and left behind little encouragement notes that were shared later with one another throughout the month. This can be a beautiful skill building exercise for any congregation.
The benefits of this approach go beyond having committees and boards within the church. This meeting can become the place of dialogue, vision, encouragement and reporting. Thus, I would challenge you to think about holding a leadership meeting every month in order to invest in your leaders. It is important to continue the mission of developing leaders to start and strengthen churches.