At all times in ministry, it’s important to be keeping an eye out for emerging leaders. But when you find them, how can you invest in developing them in a way that makes a difference?
How to best engage with emerging leaders
When you have identified people in whom you sense God may be at work, you can invite them into a more intentional process of discovery. This process can look many different ways. It may include discernment of spiritual gifts, reflection on passions and calling, and trying out different ministry areas and different types of service.
Relationships like this are ones that every young potential leader needs. This is the Paul/Timothy relationship. It’s the Barnabas/Paul relationship. It’s the Eli/Samuel relationship. We all need someone to guide us, sponsor us, champion us, and encourage us to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit for our own unique calling. None of these new leaders were exactly like their mentors; each had a unique contribution to the Kingdom of God. Your role as a coach is to come alongside young leaders, help them develop their skills, and guide them toward what God has for them.Your role as a coach is to come alongside young leaders, help them develop their skills, and guide them toward what God has for them. Click To Tweet
Start with asking good questions
Asking good questions—and encouraging reflection on their answers—is especially important here when you’re developing people as leaders.
- What is your calling? Your passion and purpose? Your gifts?
- Where would you like to try serving?
- Who could you connect with to learn more?
- What kind of feedback are you getting from others? How could you get more?
- What are sensing from God?
- What might you need to change?
- How willing are you to move forward in obedience, even when the way is unclear?
- Where do you sense God leading?
- What might be a good next step?
5 qualities of good leadership development
1. An intentional process
Leadership development can be both organic and intentional. A simple way to bring intentionality into the relationship is to think of a map during your time with emerging leaders. The first step is to identify where the person currently is in their development. The second step is to determine where they want to go. Then you can help them lay out options that will get the person from here to there, and guide them in the best path for them.Leadership development can be both organic and intentional. Click To Tweet
2. A personal relationship
Developing leadership isn’t a self-study course. It requires trial and error, trusted feedback, and true encouragement. Authentic personal relationship will help catalyze emerging leaders to living into their giftedness and calling.Developing leadership isn't a self-study course. It requires trial and error, trusted feedback, and true encouragement. Click To Tweet
3. An environment to try out new skills
Leaders make friends with failure. Emerging leaders need a safe environment to try new things and learn from their efforts. A great way to do this is to employ a simple process: I do. We do. You do. First, you bring your emerging leader to watch you do whatever it is that they want to do. Second, you invite your emerging leader to partner with you in that work. Third, you empower that leader to work on their own. You go for moral support and offer feedback.Leaders make friends with failure. Click To Tweet
4. A spirit of empowerment rather than control
Everyone is different by design. A sign of leadership development done well is recognizing this and encouraging others to live into their personal giftedness—to do it their way. Certainly, it is good to follow along and make sure that they are growing, serving, and teaching in a healthy way. But make sure that your grip is slack and your intention is for them to flourish. Otherwise, it’s more about you than it is about leadership development.A sign of leadership development done well is recognizing that everyone is unique and encouraging others to live into their personal giftedness—to do it their way. Click To Tweet
5. An emphasis on discerning the voice of God
Remember, you are not trying to make them into the leader you are. You are trying to make them into the leader God would have them be. That might look considerably different from your own style and emphasis. Our goal is to see others live fully into who God made them to be, to find their purpose and run after it. The process must be nonlinear. Prayer and discernment must be central as you discover and develop the giftedness of others.Our goal is to see others live fully into who God made them to be, to find their purpose and run after it. Click To Tweet
Leadership Multiplication Pathway- Do you need to grow your leadership team? The Leadership Multiplication Pathway gives existing leadership a systematic development process to produce more and better leaders in their local setting. This Storyboard offers an overview of leadership development so you can determine where to begin in the leadership development process. You may also be interested in the Coaching Guides and Storyboards that cover the leadership topics outlined in The Leadership Multiplication Pathway Storyboard: LMP-1 Missional Discipleship, LMP-2 Focused Ministry, LMP-3 Effective Leadership, and LMP-4 Continuous Multiplication.
Leadership Skills Guides- Looking for leaders but not finding them? Develop them! This comprehensive set of Leadership Skills Guides will help you develop 37 essential leadership skills in others. It’s likely that your potential leaders already show competence in some areas. These guides were developed to be used nonlinearly so you can meet people where they are at help them take the next best step in their development.
The Leadership Difference– Have you ever felt like you weren’t fully equipped for your leadership role? If you are running up against barriers that aren’t specifically theological but are more about how to lead people and get along with them as you work together, this book is for you. The Leadership Difference focuses specifically on key leadership skills you need to be effective as a leader.