Developing Leaders

As a United Methodist, I experience charge conference every year.  This annual meeting is where we approve the budget and determine the leadership for the next year.  The leaders are sometimes difficult to determine.  Many churches consider who would be willing to fill a position rather than who is called to fill a position.  Sometimes we even struggle to find leaders.

     The word “leader” seems to bother many people.  They do not consider themselves leaders.  Leaders are the long-time members of the church.  Leaders are the professionals in the church.  Leaders are the charismatic, public speakers, older members, or from families that have been in the church for several generations.  Yes, sometimes these are charcteristics of our leaders, but sometimes the leaders are not the usual suspects.
     We are always thinking about how to grow the church.  In order to grow leaders, we need to invite new people into leadership positions.  This means that we will have individuals in leadership who are novices at being leaders. They will need encouragment.  They are probably anxious about taking on a new role.  They need to know that we are standing behind them and believe in them.
     They also need to have lots of information because they don’t know how it has always been done.  They need to know what is expected of them.  They also need to know the resources available to them.  They probably need to have this information shared with them multiple times.  It takes a while to learn things.
      Sometimes we might think that it would be easier and faster to just do it ourselves than to train new leaders.  But, the church is not about quick fixes.  We are about growing God’s kingdom.  We know that this is a long journey that will require many leaders.  This means that we need to be on the journey with others, training the novices, so that the kingdom can grow.
      As we think about leaders, I wonder if you are being called to leadership or to be training a leader?
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