“With so much to do, how do I find time to develop leaders?”
This is a common question in the start-up phase because there really is so much to do! But if you can use all that work to create opportunities to test for leadership potential, train in ministry skills and model your church’s culture, you’ll not only train a team to assist in the work, but you’ll identify and begin building your leadership team.
Here are 5 things that can be done in less than an hour to get your leadership development off the ground:
1. Set aside time to explain exactly what you want.
It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, but giving team members your undivided attention to explain what you want done and why shows them the importance of this task and the value they are adding by doing it well. Sometimes our teams don’t know what to do because we don’t exactly know what we want them to do. So honor their time and commitment by being prepared, starting and ending when you said you would and eliminating other distractions (such as your phone or other people interrupting).
2. Assume they don’t know what to do.
Going over the basics, even though it might seem unnecessary, builds confidence in your team and sets them up to win. It allows you to nurture a spirit of humility and teachability on your team as well providing concrete information to refer back to if you need to coach or correct someone later. If you haven’t explained it to them, you can’t hold them accountable for it. But, most importantly, it helps you identify people who are “know-it-all’s” or are unwilling to be led. Those folks are not ready for leadership.
3. Make it visual.
People learn and retain information in different ways. You can research more about learning styles but, at the very least, give your team a visual of what you want them to do. Simple pictures or bullet points will suffice. It equips them to redirect their own actions and gives you something clear to refer back to when coaching them. Here are some examples we use with our volunteer set-up teams:
It may seem silly to take a picture of how you want the snacks set up, but we’ve been amazed at how some people will interpret this simple instruction (see point #2).
4. Model everything you want to see.
The best training isn’t just explaining, it’s showing. Take the time to demonstrate what you want to see. Be sure to model the softer skills that are important in your church culture – energy level, pace, facial expressions, preciseness and interactions with others. What you show them is what you will get so be sure to be intentional, even if it seems awkward. It’s a lot more awkward to have to correct someone later because they weren’t trained thoroughly.
5. Watch for results.
Be sure to pay attention to who grabs the opportunities you have laid out and delivers the results you want. Celebrate those who are following your instructions and leadership – this is more about them than it is about you. And if someone isn’t able to handle even small responsibilities like set-up and tear-down, you know they won’t be able to lead people well.
Team members who engage and respond to training and coaching are worth investing in – more time, more energy and more opportunities. So devote an hour this week to equipping your potential leaders in their next step. Before you know it, you’ll have a whole team of trusted leaders multiplying what you’ve taught them!
Published March 3, 2018