The Bullard Journal for June 20, 2019

Thursday, June 20, 2019: “A Call to Action” Lay Leadership Development. Great, significant, and exceptional lay leaders in congregations do not happen without a focused effort to develop them. In too many congregations it is assumed that people are natural leaders and getting them to lead is as simple as getting them to commit to a certain position, or to serve on a team or committee.

Oh that it was that simple!

Developing great, significant, and exceptional leaders is a long-term process and must be a continual endeavor for congregations. It is an effort that once congregations stop doing it, they begin to fall behind, and they can never catch up.

At least three approaches to leadership development exist. Likely all others are some modification or hybrid of these three. First, is to get people to volunteer for a leadership position, and then provide them with a clear job description, an orientation, and ongoing coaching for their role.

Second, is to involve people in action then reflection. Get them involved in the actions called for by the leadership role you desire them to accept, and then debrief them and help them craft the description for the leadership role that makes those actions happen with excellence.

Third, is to engage people in a course of study that provides training for them in church leadership, expose them to various types of leadership roles, and then at the end of the course of study assign them to a leadership role they feel called, gifted, and skilled to fulfill.

I sat with three lay leaders today who have one of the models that might fulfill this third choice. We are going to look at it together and see how it might be applied in multiple congregations. It has been working well in their congregation for the past seven years. Your call to action is to have an intentional plan in your congregation for leadership development.

About the author 

Kyndra Bremer