Leadership Development Pipelines & Pathways for Your Church with Todd Adkins
Today we’re continuing the discussion on leadership development pathways and pipelines. Training volunteers and leaders is so important, but do you ever feel like you’re not sure where to start? Well, today’s podcast is going to help you with that. We’re chatting with Todd Adkins from Lifeway Leadership.
Listen in as we talk about how to help the local church, best practices in real life application, and the future of church leadership development, and what isn’t working.
- Talk about what’s NOT working. // When a church grows, it doesn’t drift towards simplicity; it drifts towards complexity. It doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re a newer church or a long-established church that’s experienced seasons of growth and decline over the years—the fact remains that you’re probably struggling with complexity at the structure and the systems level. Todd’s noticed how this tends to happen especially when churches grow so fast that they’re just trying to stay a step ahead of the explosive growth. As ministries in the church develop, they can begin operating within their own silos and this structure becomes frustrating and confusing, particularly to volunteers because every leader has their own way of doing things.
- Start with scripture. // When it comes to leadership development, Todd always starts with scripture. He discusses the power of scripture to effect change and its ability to bring people together and develop a strategy. Todd also touches on the challenges of creating an across-the-board vocabulary (an essential part of having systems running smoothly!).
- Mid-size churches experience a unique sense of peer pressure. // Churches of 200-500 people find themselves under pressure to behave and mimic the systems and output of much larger churches. People, for example, will expect more professionalism. Meanwhile, some of the things that got these churches to this point of growth are feeling the strain and they’re not scaleable. So in their attempt to resemble a larger church, mid-size churches find themselves struggling. These churches need to stabilize their existing systems so they can scale up. Evaluate the cost effectiveness of your efforts and if current efforts align with the vision and values of your church.
- Churches need to make sure everyone becomes a true disciple and leader for Jesus. // How do we move people through the pipeline? Instead of limiting people to either distributing bulletins or serving as an elder, churches need to be willing to hand out all the layers of ministry and focus on equipping the saints. Each person was saved for something; we are God’s workmanship and have a clear next step. Along with that, it’s important to understand that transformation happens in someone’s life with an overlap of knowledge, experience and coaching. You cannot digitize that – it occurs in the context of a relationship.
- The future of church leadership development needs to resemble its origins. // Todd feels that church leadership development hasn’t really changed over the two thousand years; he points to 2 Timothy 2:2 as a reference point for how to apply this concept in modern times. Todd also maintains the importance of modeling and training leaders in contrast to the pitfalls of today’s trend to buy leaders instead of build them. He poses a valid question to listeners: whereas people used to come to our churches 2-3x a week, now we’re getting them 2-3x a month—if we’re lucky. What are we doing with them to help them develop in a society that is more self-focused and self-absorbed?
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Thank You to This Episode’s Sponsor: Ministry Grid