In our leadership journey within the church, one of our most significant tasks is developing a solid leadership game plan. This means not just focusing on the immediate needs of our community but also preparing for the future by identifying and nurturing the next wave of leaders. This conversation is all about strategizing for succession planning and ramping up our efforts in leadership development, ensuring our churches are well-positioned for continued growth and impact.


Spotting the Diamonds in the Rough


Ever notice how some folks just have a knack for shining, even when they’re doing the simplest tasks? That volunteer who’s always the first to arrive and the last to leave, or the person who greets everyone by name – they’re showing us they’re ready for more. Our job is to keep our eyes peeled for these diamonds in the rough and think about how we can get them ready for bigger things.


Looking Beyond the Obvious


Leadership isn’t a one-size-fits-all deal. Sure, the outgoing and bold types might grab our attention first, but what about the quiet achievers? Those behind-the-scenes folks who keep things running smoothly have just as much leadership potential. Let’s make sure we’re not overlooking the power of quiet leadership.


Look for the Natural Magnet


Pay attention to who people are naturally drawn to for advice or a listening ear. These are your unofficial leaders, the ones who’ve already got the trust and respect of others without any formal title. They’re like gold for our leadership teams if we can bring their skills into the spotlight.


Who Steps Up When It Hits the Fan


When things get tough, you really see what people are made of. Those who step up during the hard times, showing resilience and a knack for keeping cool, are showing us they’ve got what it takes to lead. It’s in these moments we can spot potential leaders who are ready to handle whatever comes their way.


Tapping Into Your ‘Farm Team’


Think of your small groups as a minor league for developing future leaders. These are great places for people to test their leadership skills in a supportive environment. Encourage your small group leaders to keep an eye out for emerging talent that can be nurtured and brought up to the majors.

Ministry leaders are also another source for future staff and “leader of leaders” type positions.


Spiritually Mature Is a Must


When scouting for future leaders, don’t just look at their skills or personality – check out their spiritual fruit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – these are the marks of someone who’s not just ready to lead but ready to lead in a way that reflects Jesus.

You also want to look for consistency. A person who has cycles of hot and cold will not be good in the long term. Pastor them wisely, but don’t rush to promote them to a leadership position too soon. Time will be the tell-tale sign of cyclical behavior.


Let’s Roll Together


Diving into leadership development means going all in with intention, prayer, and an open heart to what the Holy Spirit is stirring up. By committing to build up our future leaders, we’re not just investing in the future of our church; we’re making sure it’s in good hands, ready to grow in faith, character, and love.

Remember, this isn’t just about filling slots on a roster; it’s about preparing our people to carry on the mission of the church with passion and integrity. So, let’s get stirred up to spot, encourage, and empower those future leaders. After all, they’re the ones who’ll keep the flame burning bright for the generations to come.

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