I’ve been working with a few groups on ways to revamp their credentialing or ordination process– essentially, how to prepare ministers for ministry. This week on my blog I’m reflecting on some of my general thoughts in this topic.

ministryOnce you ordain, certify, or credential a ministry candidate, they’re done, right? Not so fast. You can see major quality improvement in your ministry leaders by investing on their ongoing growth and development after they begin their official ministry. You’ll also see your burn-out and drop-out rate decrease.

In addition to providing ongoing coaching (see yesterday’s blog entry), you can foster ongoing growth and development in your ministry leaders by engaging in these two practices:

  • Conduct an annual assessment for your pastors. This assessment should measure the practical ministry skills you want to see in your leaders (see Monday’s blog entry). Based on the assessment results, you can help each ministry leader create a personalized development plan for improvement. An annual cycle of assessment and development can do wonders for keeping your leaders’ skills sharp and continuing to improve their weaker areas.  Assessments can also alert you to leaders who are consistently not meeting quality standards.
  • Create peer networks. Everyone needs to gather periodically with others who “get it.” In these settings, pastors or other leaders can discuss issues they’re dealing with, continue their own development, and provide encouragement and prayer support for one another. These peer networks should be organized regionally in clusters of 5 to 7 participants each. Remember that peer networks are not “teaching times,” they’re “sharing times.” Don’t feel the need to download content; your goal here is to foster connections. That’s when you’ll see the groups becoming truly transformative.