Nearly every pastor we work with knows they should do a better job developing leaders on their team and in their church.

Leadership development is one of the most important things you can do to lead your church to greater health. Yet it’s tough to find the time and resources. There always seem to be more urgent things like sermons to write or people to meet pulling you in different directions.

But if you can carve out some time for leadership development, you can help every ministry in your church get better. It really can be a catalyst for both growth and health.

Here are three practical ways you can develop leaders on your team, whether it’s your staff, elder board, or another group of leaders.

#1  Read books together.

One of the most effective ways to develop leaders is to read great books and discuss them.

Books are an amazingly affordable way to get better. For about $20 with free shipping, you can buy access to someone’s life work. Quality books are well-researched and well-written. You get access to someone’s life experiences and wisdom. You tap into the people that influenced them and all the background work they performed during the writing process.

Assign a chapter a week and then schedule a time to discuss what people learned and how it applies to your ministry. Or ask everyone and read the book and meet at a coffee shop to discuss takeaways and action steps.

Here are seven books we recommend:

  1. How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge by Clay Scroggins
  2. Deep Work by Cal Newport
  3. The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership, by Jenni Catron
  4. Church Unique by Will Mancini
  5. Knowing God by J.I. Packer
  6. Creating Magic by Lee Cockerell
  7. The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni

#2 – Attend a conference.

Conferences are another great leadership development opportunity. There are dozens and dozens of quality church conferences. You could also go to a business, creative, or networking conference.

Conferences require an investment of time and money. But with proper planning and the right team, they can be a great experience. Here are a few of our favorite conferences:

When you attend, make sure you plan time to talk through takeaways and action steps. Don’t drown in the sea of inspiration; fight hard to apply one or two lessons to your church.

If you have two or three key leaders in your church, consider bringing them to one of our Grow Healthy workshops. You’ll work on creating a strategic growth plan together and walk away with lots of ideas you can implement in the coming ministry season.

#3 – Integrate training into existing meetings.

If you have regularly scheduled meetings, like a weekly staff meeting or a monthly Elders meeting, you can use some of this time for leadership development.

You’re already meeting. People have already made the time to be there. So take the first part of the meeting to work on key leadership development skills. Help those in the room learn to lead themselves, lead other people, and lead projects.

Our Team Training resources were developed for this very purpose. It’s like inviting some of the top leadership coaches right into your team meeting. Watch the 10-12 minute video and then use the one page discussion guide to ask a few great questions. You’ll learn a key skill and apply it to your church. Then you can dive into the rest of the meeting agenda.

A few minutes at the front of a meeting can help every leader get better.

Take a Next Step

One thing we’ve noticed about leaders in the church is they typically crave training. Leaders love opportunities to get better and develop their skills. So we created an eBook all about leading a staff.

This resource will help you learn:

  • How to clarify everyone’s role so they remain focused on the right things
  • Manage your team to accomplish their goals
  • Streamline your team meetings so they maximize everyone’s time
  • Ways to develop their leadership skills

The Senior Pastor's Guide to Leading a Staff is one of our most popular resources and it's yours free.