Three Reasons You Might Not Be Able to Involve High Capacity Leaders

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There’s a big difference between a volunteer and a leader.  Churches need both.  In my work with hundreds of churches, I believe we’re getting better at involving volunteers, but we’ve still got a ways to go when it comes to involving leaders.

Here are three reasons you might struggle to involve high capacity leaders.

1. You’re trying to recruit in bulk.

You can invite a bunch of volunteers to take their first steps to service with a volunteer fair or a volunteer message.  But if you want to engage leaders, you’ll need to take a more personal approach.

You can’t recruit leaders from the stage.  Leaders won’t sign up at tables along with everyone else.  They respond to personal invitations.  So If you want to engage leaders, you need to identify them and personally invite them into the process.  This is not efficient – it’s one on one.

2.  You do not have a leadership culture.

I like to grow things in my backyard, but I don’t get a lot of sunlight back there.  That makes it hard to grow flowers.   However, I can grow Hosta, some Azaleas and ferns.  The culture of my backyard is suited to shade-loving plants.

Your church has a culture, too.  And if you don’t have a culture of leadership, leaders won’t thrive .  You may have a culture where the pastors do everything, or where people aren’t trusted with decisions.  If that’s the case, you’ve got to work hard to create a new and better culture.  One where innovation and risk is valued.  That’s the kind of culture that’s attractive to a leader.

3.  You are not patient.

Leaders don’t want to be told how to do everything.  They want freedom.  That’s one of the things that makes them a leader.  A volunteer needs clear directions, clear timelines and clear expectations, but a leader needs a little more freedom and some time to figure it out.  Empowering leaders is messy and it will not go smooth.  But if you’re patient, the rewards are worth it.

Have you seen the difference between leaders and volunteers?  How is your church doing on each level?

Three Reasons You Might Not Be Able to Recruit High Capacity Leaders

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There’s a big difference between a volunteer and a leader.  Churches need both.  In my work with hundreds of churches, I believe we’re getting better at involving volunteers, but we’ve still got a ways to go when it comes to involving leaders.

Here are three reasons you might struggle to involve high capacity leaders.

1. You’re trying to recruit in bulk.

You can invite a bunch of volunteers to take their first steps to service with a volunteer fair or a volunteer message.  But if you want to engage leaders, you’ll need to take a more personal approach.

You can’t recruit leaders from the stage.  Leaders won’t sign up at tables along with everyone else.  They respond to personal invitations.  So If you want to engage leaders, you need to identify them and personally invite them into the process.

2.  You do not have a leadership culture.

I like to grow things in my backyard, but I don’t get a lot of sunlight back there.  That makes it hard to grow flowers.   However, I can grow Hosta, some Azaleas and ferns.  The culture of my backyard is suited to shade-loving plants.

Your church has a culture, too.  And if you don’t have a culture of leadership, leaders won’t thrive .  You may have a culture where the pastors do everything, or where people aren’t trusted with decisions.  If that’s the case, you’ve got to work hard to create a new and better culture.  One where innovation and risk is valued.  That’s the kind of culture that’s attractive to a leader.

3.  You are not patient.

Leaders don’t want to be told how to do everything.  They want the freedom.  That’s one of the things that makes them a leader..  So if you want leaders to lead ministry, you must be willing to let go.  Support, guide and champion the vision…but let leaders lead.

If you want to recruit leaders (not just volunteers), you will likely have to change your approach.

 

Five Things I Know About The Church

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When I was an 18-year-old college freshman at Florida State University, Lakeview Baptist Church hired me to be their youth pastor.  I got paid $100 a week to lead a youth group with four teenagers.  I would spend the next ten years of my life serving as a student pastor in the local church.

In 2005, my family and I moved to a small town just outside of Atlanta to start a brand new church.  We didn’t know anybody, but we believed God wanted us to do it.  We were there for six years, and the experience was life-changing in many ways.

Three years ago, I started working for a friend named Casey Graham and his brand new company.  We created resources to help the local church and had a blast doing it.  During that time, we attended NorthPoint Community Church and loved every minute of it.  I wrote about what NorthPoint meant to me and my family in this post and I wrote about my time with The Rocket Company in this post.

We recently moved back to our hometown of Jacksonville, Florida.  In a sense, we’re starting over.  I’m starting a new company to provide practical resources and training for pastors and church leaders.  This type of work is in my DNA – it’s what I know and it’s who I am.  The church has always been a part of my life, whether I am attending or leading or resourcing.

Here are five things I know about pastors and churches, and five reasons I love the local church.

  1.  A local church helped set the trajectory of my life.  When I was 15, I decided to follow Jesus with my life at a local church service.  When I was 17, I decided to become a pastor at that same church.  My junior high and high school youth pastor invested in me during my years at that church.  This one local church influenced my view of God, career, mission, purpose, family and so much more.
  1.  The pastors I know are selfless servants who want to make a difference.    It’s funny to me when I hear people talk about pastors being in it for the money.  99% of the pastors I know are dramatically underpaid and could make WAY more money in some other line of work.  Most are amazing, humble, selfless leaders who love Jesus and love their communities.  Pastors are heroes.
  1.  Local churches come in all shapes and sizes. There are rural churches and urban churches.  There are progressive churches and traditional churches.  There are small churches and mega churches.  Traditional and modern.  Churches who love singing and churches who love preaching.  All of them are important and all of them matter.
  1.  It’s a physical representation of Jesus.  Jesus is invisible, and I’ve never been to heaven.  But the church is the body of Christ, and I can see that.  When local churches love and serve their community, worship wholeheartedly, and give generously, it’s a very real picture of Jesus.  It’s tangible, not theoretical.  It’s physical, not just spiritual.
  1.  Jesus said he would build His church.  Jesus told Peter He would build His CHURCH.  Not a 501(c)3 non profit organization. Or a publishing company.  Or the Boy Scouts.  He said He would build His Church.   There are a lot of important things in the world, but there was a guy who was dead and came back to life.  I’m going to hitch up to his construction crew and help build what He’s building.

These are just five of the reasons I love the local church and love pastors.  And these are just five of the reasons I’m committed to helping, serving and resourcing the church through this new company.

Pastors, I’m in your corner.