There’s a big difference between a volunteer and a leader.

And if you want to experience church growth, you need both.

Without leaders, you’ll keep people busy but will struggle to move the church forward.  You’ll end up managing a lot of activity and keeping a lot of balls in the air, but will struggle to truly release ministry to the congregation.

Volunteers will move stuff around, but leaders will move the church forward.

While the church might be doing better when it comes to volunteers, there’s still a long way to go when it comes to developing leaders.

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

#1 – You’re trying to recruit leaders from the stage.

You can invite 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 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.

If you find you need leaders to help your church grow, don’t start writing a sermon and don’t organize a leader sign up drive.  Instead, make a list of a few people and go out for coffee.  If you don’t know who to put on your list, ask around and widen your circle.

Leadership pipelines and development programs are great, but you might need to start wtih a few personal conversations.

#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.

If you’re struggling to develop leaders, you might need to take a look at your environment.

#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.

Honestly, there are some churches who say they want leaders who really don’t.  When push comes to shove, they want to tightly control things.

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

What’s Next?

You’re supposed to develop leaders in your church, but where do you even start?

We believe leadership starts with ourselves. Before you can lead others, you have to lead yourself well.

So we created a FREE resourced called the One-Page Leadership Development Plan. This simple plan will help you move forward as a leader over the next 12 months in addition to how you lead others.

Get your FREE copy of our Personal Leadership Development Plan today by entering your name and email below.

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Before you can lead others, you must first lead yourself. This free resource can help.

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