Solutions June 2018 - Page 38

is, very few have a well-thought-out leadership-development pipeline, and even fewer have a true leadership- development culture. To fill the roles of staff, churches simply hire from other churches. Therefore, when it comes to building the leadership potential of the individual members of the church, most churches are too busy scrambling to find volunteers to fill slots to even think about leadership development on this level. The church cannot afford to simply pilfer one another’s staffs and ignore the massive leadership potential in the pews. Eventually someone is going to have to train some new leaders! LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT ON TWO LEVELS The local church must concern itself with training leaders on two levels—staff and members—and the second can feed the first. Hiring pastors and key staff roles from within is the very best policy. If you use the character, chemistry, and competence metric for hiring staff, it only makes sense to hire almost exclusively from within. Since the person was built inside the house—discipled, mentored, trained, developed—the character of the individual is well known. Further, leaders in the house likely had their hands in the formation of that character, since true leadership development includes the often messy but necessary interaction of life upon life. Leaders trained inside the house grow up breathing the culture of the house. You don’t have to send them through a ten-week “learn our DNA” program; they are a product of that culture. They don’t just know your vision, 38 • Solutions they are part of it. They own it. When leaders are built inside the house, their gifts and callings become apparent, their strengths and weaknesses obvious. You are able to evaluate them by what you have gleaned from personal observation as it relates to their competency, not just what you read in a résumé or discerned from a few interviews. Simply put, you know what you’re getting when you hire from within. One very powerful benefit from hiring almost entirely from within is what we call the upward draft. When a church member is in a key leadership role and then brought onto the paid staff, the change creates a vacuum of sorts and pulls other leaders up to fill that former position. This, in turn, creates another vacuum, which pulls up others into higher roles of leadership. In one ministry role after another, this readjustment goes all the way down through the ranks. “ When leaders are built inside the house, their gifts and callings become apparent, their strengths and weaknesses obvious. A true leadership-development culture feeds off the excitement created by the upward draft. This is especially true when the role being filled is a pastor or director slot. The people in the church are being led by someone they think of as “one of us,” and the idea that one day that could be me becomes much more