Principles for Training the Leadership Team
There is so much that could be written regarding training leadership. I believe it is the key to an effective, growing ministry to single adults. The leadership team will multiply the influence of the pastor/director and ministry, have great influence with their particular circle of friends, serve as role models for the group and become key components in developing the ministry. Consequently, it is imperative that the pastor/director see developing leadership as a primary role. It is this person's job to recruit, train and motivate the leadership team. If attention is not given to this responsibility, leaders will not grow and be as effective as they could be, and the ministry will suffer greatly.
Training new leaders is an ongoing process, especially in this ministry. Leadership turnover is a constant reality due to the "sliding door" principle (leaders fulfilling their commitment, leaving the ministry, and moving into another area of ministry involvement in the church). This is a very common, and needed reality! It is a sign of health for single adults to move out of the ministry and into the larger life of the church. Integration into the total life of the church is one of the goals of single adult ministry. These adults need to mix with other individuals who are younger, older, married etc.
Basic training ideas for the leadership team include:
1. Meet individually with key leaders on a regular basis. This can be done over lunch, coffee, etc to express a personal interest in them, solve problems, brainstorm, pray for them, etc.
2. Meet with the leadership team on a regular basis. The "four I-words" can be a good guideline to follow in planning for these meetings.
a. Information-what needs to be told by the director and each leader?
b. Involvement-what needs to be discussed?
c. Instruction-what needs to be taught for personal and ministry growth?
d. Inspiration-what needs to be shared for motivation?
3. Give reading assignments. Choose a leadership development book and ask the team to read a chapter and be prepared to discuss it at the next meeting.
4. Teach and discuss leadership principles. There are many good books which teach spiritual, organizational and ministry leadership principles.
5. Model transparency. The pastor/director needs to live a transparent and genuine life in front of the leadership team, as well as admit mistakes and weaknesses to the team.
6. Hold a leadership class once or twice a year for the purposes of:
a. Inviting and discovering potential leaders
b. Inviting and training existing leaders and potential leaders
c. Building unity in the leadership team
d. Imparting vision to existing and potential leaders
e. Improving leadership skills
f. Praying together
g. Spiritual growth of the leaders
7. Plan and host a leadership retreat once a year for the same purposes as the leadership class, but also to have fun together!
8. Pray consistently and persistently. The leadership team needs to be taught the dire importance of prayer and their lives need to model an example of prayer for the rest of the group (2 Chronicles 7:14). The larger the ministry,the more prayer is needed. Without prayer, the ministry will become mechanical and will lack effectiveness.