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Being a pastor is difficult.
Many of your church members put you and your family on a pedestal, expecting you to be bastions of righteousness and the clearest image of Christ in the church.
You are tasked with counseling congregants, often leading them through the most difficult parts of their lives.
Sunday comes every week, and if you’re in charge of preaching, you have to prepare a timely, accurate, and applicable explanation of the Scriptures every single week.
Do you really have time to do “leadership development?” Shouldn’t that be someone else’s responsibility?
Here are three reasons pastors neglect making leadership development a priority in their churches:
Do any pastors actually have any free time? The answer is usually, “No.” Few pastors sit around twiddling their thumbs all day, waiting for people to counsel or sermons to prep. Pastors are busy, usually working more hours in a week than is healthy.
One of the most common reasons pastors don’t develop leaders in their churches is because they feel they lack the time. This is a legitimate concern—leadership development is time-consuming. However, “not having time,” is never a legitimate excuse not to do something. Why?
You make time to do what is most important to you.
You probably “don’t have time” to watch that college football game or for your emergency trip to the dentist; but you value time with your family and you value the ability to chew, so you make time.
Leadership development takes time, but it’s worth making time for.
Sometimes, leaders struggle to develop others into leaders because it takes some of the power out of their hands. Knowledge is power, so the minute a pastor passes his knowledge onto someone else by way of leadership development, he is “losing power.”
Pastoring a church isn’t a prideful power struggle; it’s a humble sacrifice.
Developing others to lead in your church requires humility because it forces you to realize you’re replaceable and not as special as the stage makes you feel sometimes.
Young (and old) people in your church are dying to be developed and discipled so that they might best serve the Lord with the gifts he’s given them. Have the humility to pass some of your wisdom and experience on to others.
Your wisdom isn’t yours to keep. It was given to you, and it’s your job to give it to others. Keeping it is selfish.
Leadership development is not easy—no important things are, right? Any time your leading, developing, and molding people, things are going to get messy because people are messy.
The people you develop have a past. They have sinned. They once rejected Jesus. Discipling them, molding them into the image of Christ so that they might reflect him will demand difficult conversations, confrontation, and maybe even tears.
No effective leadership development can happen in the church without the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Pray for grace. Pray for humility. Pray for wisdom. You’ll need it.
Pastors: even if you aren’t the one doing the footwork of leadership development, you must lead your church to value leadership development. It’s an effective, biblical way to care for your church long after you’ve left it.
On October 13, in Nashville, TN, LifeWay Leadership is hosting the Pipeline Conference, a conference for pastors and church leaders who are interested in establishing a culture of leadership development in their churches.
What makes Pipeline different? Pipeline is unlike other church leadership events because it offers real training: something staffs can take home and implement immediately.
Good news! The conference is pretty cheap! Also, here’s the key:
Trust me, you’ll learn a ton from people like Paul Tripp, Tripp Lee, Brad Lomenick, and others. Plus, we’ll get to hang out if you want. Let me know if you want to get coffee or something! I’ll buy!
You don’t wanna miss it. Nashville is beautiful in October.