A custom course designed specifically for each leader. How can we have the time for that? I thought this was about developing leadership at a church plant, not a mega church.
But what will waste more time, asking someone to spend time working on things in a way that does not help them or taking the time on the front end to identify what is needed along with the best way to meet that need? Sure, there will be some common things you ask leaders to do but wouldn’t it make more sense to start with the individual’s needs and work from there? I believe it would take less time.
The coaching method for leadership development is especially suited to this approach. It has the ideal combination of the individual working on their needs with the outside push and perspective of their coach. When you tie the work done in coaching into the other methods to customize an individual’s plan, things really start to happen. For me, coaching has been one of the most time effective things I have done when you consider my coaching sessions take an hour a month.
Now that you are convinced of the need for customization, let’s consider the various groups of people that need to be developed so we can capture some economy of scale. Because we will have limited resources, some groups should get more help than others. The risk to an organization of less effective leadership in some roles is just not as great as it is in others. A staff member who is required to lead a large number of volunteers should have access to more development resources than a volunteer who leads a small number of other volunteers. We have to recognize our limits and operate within them.
Three typical development groups come to mind for a church plant.
Staff – Paid full and part-time staff that make the trains run on time should be the top priority. They should require the most planning time and be fully involved in the development efforts that are designed for them. How can they be expected to develop other leaders if they are not fully engaged in the process?
Elders/Advisors – These critical role models need to understand the organization’s values and be able to cast the organization’s vision by living it. Hopefully they are already mature in many areas but their leadership abilities need to be certain. Custom plans are essential here. Overlooking this group would be easy but dangerous. Many of these leaders are also in the next group.
Key Volunteer Ministry Leaders – Some of these individuals may be functioning in roles that many churches hire professional staff to do. That means some segmentation is likely needed inside this category as well. Some of these folks may need access to as much development work as a staff person if they are leading a large number of volunteers. Developing plans for these folks requires customization and creativity because they are usually successful in activities outside of church so they have many abilities but limited time.
So what do you think? It will help when we post more about the methods, the how to part. Things should start to come together then. Patience grasshopper.