9 Positive Ways Leadership Development Impacts Your Church

“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born — that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.”

-Warren G. Bennis

Leadership development is imperative for healthy, growing churches. We need a regular, systematic way to move people from leading themselves to leading others to leading leaders to leading organizations. Even a simple and straightforward leadership development approach will have positive and far-ranging impact. Here are just a few of the benefits to your church:

  • Spreads out the mission. You’ve been called to a huge vision at your church. It outpaces you and your abilities. By taking time to develop and release leaders, you enlist other people to get on board with — and help fulfill — the mission.
  • Refines you and your team. Taking time to develop other leaders around you forces you to a place of clarity and conviction. That’s a difficult process for you … and that’s a good thing! It stretches and grows you as you attempt to help other people grow!
  • All about the next generation. The church is just one generation away from extinction. A central part of church leadership is passing the message and mission on to the next generation. Leadership development creates opportunities for younger leaders to engage with the church. It shows them that you care enough to help them take their first steps towards leading the church.
  • It’s Biblical. You are called to be a church leader not a church doer. [See this.] Our role is to equip and build up the people in our church to the do the ministry. Core to your role from a Biblical point of view is building up others to help the ministry move forward. Being a leader who trains other leaders is your mandate and that’s bound to be a good thing for your church!
  • Networking key leaders. When leadership development is done right, it brings together existing leaders within your church to work together and help up-and-coming leaders. The very act of bringing leaders together to collaborate is valuable, because often they can become siloed in their own departments.
  • Platform to talk about tough issues. In our leadership development program, we talk about lifestyle generosity and moral fences. Conversations about these issues can be difficult to initiate, but when people “opt-in” to a leadership development program it’s an open door to share your core convictions about what a leader looks like in your church.
  • It readies your church for growth. Plateaued and declining churches aren’t developing leaders. There is no practical reason for them to identify, train and release leaders into new areas of ministry. If a church wants to kick-start its growth process, it needs to kick-start its leadership development!
  • A fishing pond for future staff. At some point your church is going to need to hire new staff. Where are you going to find those people? A well-designed leadership development program provides a great atmosphere to find staff who will lead other leaders and take your church to the next level.
  • Focuses the church on the important, not the urgent. You’re able to host services next weekend without a well-executed leadership development approach. However, if all you ever do as a leader is focus on what’s next on your “urgent list,” you won’t progress towards the larger vision God has for your church.

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November’s new course for unSeminary Premium is called Leadership Development 101 and it’s taught by Ron Edmondson from Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington, KY. He is a leader of leaders and his church was recently named to the Outreach Magazine Top 100 Fastest Growing Churches in America list. He’s the planter of two churches who is passionate about starting great churches, but also helping established churches thrive. He loves to assist pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. His specialty is organizational leadership, so in addition to his role as a pastor he consults with church and ministry leaders. We’re excited to have him provide a fantastic course designed to help you kick-start your leadership development. This course includes:

  • 5 video lessons with Ron unpacking leadership development mindsets and practical how-tos.
  • Done-for-you resources and templates to help you get started in your leadership development journey.
  • A live Q&A call with Ron to get questions answered about your particular church.

Join unSeminary Premium today. You get access to this course plus our entire back catalog of courses, a private Facebook group of other like-minded church leaders to grow with, and a few other surprises along the way! Join today. It’s only $30 a month … and you can cancel anytime.



  1. So helpful. Thanks Rich. This reminds me to keep leadership development in front of my team as well. I think that it is easy to think about our own leadership development without thinking about the development of others. #selfish, #dontbethatguy

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.