The Glue by Mike Stevens

Mike Stevens recently self-published a youth ministry book for youth pastors and youth ministry leaders. “The Glue: Relationship As The Connection For Effective Youth Ministry” is a helpful volume in thinking through the practicalities of youth ministry. It is a good addition to the youth ministry literature, and terrific to have another youth ministry resource produced here in Australia. Here are a few of my reflections on the book after reading it recently.

thegluemikestevens

In this book, Mike seeks to put his ideas about youth ministry leadership onto paper. He gives us a view into the way he thinks about youth ministry and its leadership, suggesting what might be most useful for us as youth pastors, leaders, and churches.

What I found most beneficial in this book was to be reminded again of the importance of relationship in leadership, and in the developing of leaders. The relational element of the leadership development process is what stood out to me the most. While there is much to think through practically, which Mike outlines throughout, it is relationships that make youth ministry an actual ministry. Relationship is central to any youth ministry, both relationship with God and with one-another. And so, the main aim of this book is to remind us that youth ministry is relational ministry. This is front and centre throughout, and is the core of each chapter (or section).

Clearly the book is focussed on being practical. There are sections and sub-sections on being a disciple, personal development, developing others, youth ministry foundations and the like. But within each chapter there are also short and sharp tips for anyone in youth ministry. This includes, how to communicate with leaders and parents, why camps are important, what questions to ask in beginning at a new church, how to finish a role well etc. The book aims at being practical and it does just that. This is opposed to being more theological in nature. There is brief mention of theological principles and foundations, which is quite common in youth ministry literature, and 99% of the word count is spent on application and concrete youth work. It’s clearly a practical youth ministry book.

A unique aspect to this book is the reflection section at the end of each chapter. These reflection pieces enable the reader to dig deeper into the content and see how it applies to their context. I found these reflection sections a worthwhile addition to this book, with good questions asked of the reader. I think is particularly useful for youth leadership teams who may work through this book together and make the content specific to their ministry or church.

I liked the reminder about relationship being central to youth ministry. Often we can quickly lose sight of the relationships we are building as we plan and prepare for the upcoming youth group event or small group. But, I also appreciated the sub-section on “The Four Big Asks of Youth Leadership” (p87-100). Here Mike outlines the clarity in which we need to communicate to our youth leaders. After all, what exactly are we asking them to do, say, on a Friday night? Mike summarises his answer to this in four parts: (1) Lead from your growing relationship with Jesus, (2) Follow up young people, (3) Prepare for Game Time (i.e. a youth group night or event), and (4) Deliver on Game Time (i.e. be punctual, present, willing to serve, and take initiative). This is not only an example of the practical nature of this book but also highlights the thinking and clarity we should be seeking to lead from.

The Glue is a very easy read and is written like a series of blog posts, which I believe some of these chapters were originally. As I mentioned earlier, I think this is a good addition to the numerous books on youth ministry, particularly for us here in Australia. It is more for youth pastors and youth ministry leaders, but would be helpful for parents and the wider church too. Unless you’re already across the basics of a theology of youth ministry then I’d recommend reading this alongside “Gospel-Centred Youth Ministry” or Andrew Root’s “Taking Theology to Youth Ministry” series.


It would be worth me disclosing that I do in fact know Mike! We have been colleagues for a few years now within the wider Baptist movement here in Australia. But even though I do know him, alas, I was not paid or given any sort of favour for this reflection! If you’re considering buying this book I’d recommend you get it directly from his website, as that’ll help him cover his self-publishing costs. Enjoy.

Advertisements

Here It Is: Paul Roos, Leadership, And Youth Ministry

I recently finished reading the latest book by Paul Roos, “Here It Is: Coaching, Leadership and Life.” Paul Roos is a very successful AFL coach and highly sought after for his man-management and leadership coaching. This year I’ve enjoyed listening to him in the commentary box and was intrigued to read how he approached coaching and working with teams.

I often wonder how closely coaching an elite sporting team and being involved in Christian ministry align. Obviously, there are significant differences, and the markers of success are worlds apart. However, leadership is still leadership and so part of reading this book was to gain insights for youth ministry. As I read the book I was constantly thinking how his principles for leadership applied to youth ministry. I found much of what he talked about helpful because (1) I enjoy sport and AFL, and (2) I could see his approach being similar to other things I’ve read or heard regarding ministry.

Below are 10 ideas I found helpful. I wonder if they impact the way we approach youth ministry ourselves?

Here it is

(1) The Importance Of Relationships

Roos emphasises relationships as the key to success at a football club. He played at a time where it was ‘old school’ football. A time where the players would simply train, turn up to play, and do whatever the coach would ask. Often there was little relationship between players, coach, and other staff. After observing this as a player he decided to approach things differently and have a focus on positive inter-club relationships.

In youth ministry (and church ministry) it’s all about relationships. I’ve been reminded by this in other ways recently, and will hopefully elaborate on that in coming posts. But, needless to say, everything in youth ministry is about relationships. It’s about relationship with God and relationship between people. It’s about relationship with pastoral staff, it’s about relationship with leaders, and between leaders. It’s about relationship with young people and the relationships they have between themselves. It’s about relationship with everyone. Youth ministry is about relationships.

(2) The 25-points

Within a month of finishing up as a player Roos wrote down 25-points that were essentially values and standards he would articulate and live out as a coach. These 25-points include the majority of the points I am drawing out here, but the point is he actually wrote down the values he wanted to keep to and they helped guide him in his coaching.

I wonder whether we as youth ministry write down standards and values that guide us in our leadership? It is worth considering what is most important to you, and where you believe leadership in youth ministry should be focussed on. When being interviewed for the role I currently have I took with me a sheet of paper that had some key scriptures for the way I approached ministry and also seven, what I called, ‘Pastoral Pillars’ that would be my guide as a Youth Pastor. The headings for each of these were: (1) Relational, (2) Disciple Development, (3) De-Program, (4) Leader Development, (5) Mission Posture, (6) Framed Risk, (7) Grey OK. This helped me articulate where I was at and also informed the committee who they were getting. I found it helpful. I think they did too. Do you have something similar?

(3) The Calm Leader

Roos played in an era where coaches going off their head was common practice. Giving a good dressing down, dragging the players off the field and onto the bench when they made a mistake, and generally trying to motivate players through yelling and shame. Roos saw this wasn’t benefiting anyone, particularly in keeping morale up, developing players, and providing motivation. His response was to make sure he kept himself calm. He made sure he was emotionally stable in his leadership and provided confidence in doing so. He didn’t want to react in an emotionally volatile way when winning or losing.

In youth ministry, are you a stable and calm leader? A big influence on me has been the idea of being a ‘non-anxious presence’. That is, someone who is calm, not anxious, and emotionally stable during times of upset, crisis, and conflict. I have wondered whether this can be detrimental when certain situations call for passion, enthusiasm, and excitement. But, in general, a person who leads in youth ministry needs to be calm and in doing so inspire confidence and trust in their leadership.

When a kid has fall and breaks their foot at a youth camp, be calm and deal with it appropriately. When a leader seems to be going through some sort of crisis and requires some extra attention, be calm and deal with it appropriately. When a parent doesn’t like an action that has been taken and let’s fly with their complaint, be calm and deal with it appropriately. In youth ministry, we need calm, non-anxious, leaders who in doing so help inspire, motivate, and build trust with people around them.

(4) The Time It Takes To Develop People

Roos understood that it takes time to develop players. He comments that the age of great learning for a footballer is 18-22 years old. They get drafted, and then take years to develop in their skills, learning about the game, and general aptitude for elite AFL football. Recognising this, Roos seemed to do a few things. First, he made sure the players understood his game plan, their role in the team, and the skills required for top level football. Second, he took time in bringing them into the elite league of the game, often keeping them in second tier competitions for longer than other coaches would. There is the implication that it takes a number of years to develop as a player, helping this development from a young age was his goal. This was clear within his chapters on leading the Sydney football academy for talented teenagers.

In youth ministry, it takes time to develop faith and to develop in leadership. I think faith could be explored separately to this, but leadership and learning the ropes of youth ministry can begin to be taught while students are still going through youth group and the youth ‘programs’. The youth programs can be tools for discipleship, leadership development, and possibly even church leadership too. But even if we’re intentional it will take time. As hard as it sounds, not all people will have the character or aptitude for youth ministry leadership, I don’t think God has made everyone equal in this regard. However, there are plenty of people who one may not think as ‘youth ministry potential’ who are able to learn and grow in their leadership skills. This simply takes time.

(5) Everyone Has A Role

Following on from development is also the question of role. Roos outlined clearly how everyone in the team had a role. Sometimes this was different to what the player had always known. The player may have believed that getting 30 possessions a match was his role, but actually, his role was part of a larger system, the team system, to which they all played a vital part. If that player only had 20 possessions but played their role as they were supposed to then the team had better success than if they went it alone, believing they had to win the game for the team. Roos believes that everyone at the football club has a role and it needs to be defined. Everyone from the President, CEO, Senior Coach, Assistant Coaches, and the players. In some ways, this aligns with another of his values, which was to deal with every player individually, knowing their personal strengths and weaknesses. This avoids lumping everyone into the same box. It is about getting the most out of each person.

I wonder how we view our youth ministries? Do we do that for our students? For our leaders? For our wider church? The Youth Pastor has a role, that seems to be more defined than others in the church. But, I would argue that just as Paul in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 writes about the body of Christ, so too, everyone in the church has a role in regard to youth ministry. It’s just not defined or communicated. Therefore, rather than getting every youth leader to be involved in everything on a Friday night perhaps some people are better at talks and should those gifts more often. Perhaps others are good at social media and should look at being communication co-ordinators. Perhaps others are good at running games, explaining them well and getting the group involved. Perhaps others are good at administration and should be looking at the database and helping people in that way. This would help with leadership development, understanding of the various facets of youth ministry, and also help with delegation.

(6) Team Formed Standards And Values

A key aspect to Roos’s approach with coaching was to involve every one of the players in determining what the team stood for. The team would have a pre-season camp and flesh out what their values and standards were. This would include values like honesty, hard work, and a never give up attitude. As these values made their way through the team the players themselves would be the ones enforcing the standards. In this way, everyone is invested in the performance of everyone else. Not only on the field, but also off it.

Could this be a way forward for youth leadership teams? I know I’ve done this a little with my youth leadership teams. We’ve created some leadership commitment guidelines to help guide what it means to be a leader in the youth ministry. I’m sure this could be enforced more, and with each other helping to lift their game in various areas. As an example, one of these guidelines is child safety. If a leader goes outside the bounds, say, initiates a hug with a student, and another leader sees this, they would then pull them up for it. If there is feedback given in terms of the talk or a game, then another leader can do that – encouraging them and also helping them to improve. I see big advantages when the leadership team is invested in creating the standards and values of the ministry.

(7) A Yearly Review

Each year Roos would sit down with each individual player and work through strengths and growth areas.

In youth ministry this would be worth doing also, not only together as a team but individually. As a Youth Pastor I would expect to catch up with my leaders reasonably regularly anyway. But, there could be an intentional one-on-one at the end of the year. This could touch on topics such as discipleship growth, spiritual disciplines, church involvement, and an area to grow in next year.

(8) The Attitude That Rubs Off

Roos knew that his attitude would rub off on the players. As the central leader of the club his attitude meant everything. He made sure he was positive and had a positive outlook on the club, the players, and what they could achieve. This doesn’t mean he never made critical judgements about what was going on or was disappointed in players actions. He simply wanted to be positive in his attitude no matter the result.

Youth ministry isn’t in the win-loss premiership game, but we still have indicators that mean we are satisfied or dissatisfied with the way things are going. At the end of youth group leaders can be up and about because they believe the night went well. Or, they can be flat and a bit disappointed. A process for assessing each youth event and program is vital. But, even more so, the positive attitude of the main leader keeps the big picture in mind and helps other leaders assess correctly. The attitude of the Youth Pastor or key leader has a big impact.

(9) The Game Plan

Once all his big blocks of values and standards, attitude and roles were in place Roos also had a game plan to win each match. This game plan seemed to be the same from year one to year ten. It didn’t seem to change much. However, there was a plan. As it has been said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”.

It is important to plan in youth ministry. Not just planning a few months out but also having a plan for each event, small group, or youth group night. It is important that everyone on the team knows that plan. I am one who prefers to have those plans early in the week. Others prefer to bring the plan to the night an hour before we start. In any case, a basic plan for us on a Friday night is (1) Welcome, (2) Games, (3) Talk, (4) Discussion Groups. We may also include a time for snacks or for making sure a couple of leaders are at the door when parents arrive for pick-up. After the night is done and things are packed up we as leaders gather and chat through the highlights and lowlights of the evening. It is important to have a plan for youth ministry, one that is broad and one that is specific.

(10) Communicate, Communicate

With his commitment to relationships Roos had an emphasis on communication. He kept it simple and constant. Communication between everyone was vital is sustaining relationships and also reinforcing the values and standards of the football club.

If there is little communication the youth ministry will not go well. There is communication needed between many different parties and in a variety of ways. Communication between Youth Pastor and leadership team and pastoral team. Communication between youth group leaders and parents and students. Communication between youth ministry and wider church. Any relationship you can think of relating to youth ministry requires some form of communication. It is an important part of the gig. And at the end of the day, it is another key aspect to building relationships.

Does The Youth Leader Need To Be Magnetic?

Is it necessary for a Youth Pastor to have a magnetic personality? 

Often I find myself wondering whether all the great Youth Pastor’s are people who have extroverted, outgoing, positive, and magnetic personalities.

Does The Youth Leader Need To Be Magnetic

On one hand it could be argued that a magnetic personality is almost essential as part of the role. Someone who is able to draw people to the ministry, interact with young people in a meaningful way, and have leaders that are willing to follow means there is some form of magnetism required to the role.

It might be helpful to think of this in reverse too. If a Youth Pastor is sour, socially awkward, unable to interact with people of all ages, and wants to hide away from any form of public speaking then maybe the role isn’t for them.

I wonder whether you believe it is important to have a magnetic personality as a Youth Pastor? 

However, it is unfair to discourage people from leading in youth ministry if they don’t conform to our preconceived ideas of what a youth leader should be like. In doing so we deny people within the body of Christ from contributing in their own unique way. After all, as a body of believers, we recognise that God has created everyone in his image and that each one is a gift for the church.

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)

While character, maturity, and skillset of each person needs to be taken into account, there is no biblical edict regarding personality that informs the type of role a person should have in the church.

Whether introverted or extroverted, each personality should be able to find their place to serve and build the church.

It may be helpful to be a people person in a people-focussed work, it is not necessary for there to be some special type of magnetism in youth ministry leadership. People may well be better suited to sharing from the front while others are better suited talking one-one-one with others. Some are better suited at interacting with parents and welcoming new people, others are better suited to sorting out the games or the supper for the night. Some leaders might be best suited to help in administration and not be involved in a youth night at all. There are plenty of ways to serve in youth ministry and it doesn’t matter what their personality.

When you consider your own gifts, skillset, and character, where in youth ministry do you think you would best serve? 


This post is a free writing exercise in response to The Daily Post topic ‘Magnetic‘.

Starting Fresh As A Youth Pastor

At my denominational gathering of Next Generational Leaders (a fancy name for those in ministry in the children’s, families, youth and young adult demographic) last week I was due to present a few reflections on starting fresh in ministry or a new ministry role. Unfortunately I came down with the flu (or man-flu, it’s a fine line) so I wasn’t able to actually present. However, not wanting to waste the time and thought put into it I have outlined what I was going to say below. Enjoy.

apple starting fresh

What happens when the honeymoon period that is beginning at a new church begins to fade into the distance?

Reality sets in.

Things don’t go as smoothly as they were at the start. The jobs seems bigger than expected. Some of the expectations now upon your shoulders aren’t what you enjoy doing. The role you thought you were given in the interview process doesn’t seem to be have been entirely accurate. You begin questioning your own skills and abilities for the job. Already you have people who don’t like you. You feel like you’re being watched in everything you do. The pressure seems to be rising, whether it’s real or not.

Welcome to ministry. 🙂 

In recent times there has been a changing of the guard within the Baptist Union of Victoria’s next generation ministries. A little survey conducted recently found that of the 74 Next Generational Leaders within the BUV surveyed, just over 20% were in their first year of a paid ministry role (they are either starting out or in a new ministry context). If you extend this time to 3 years the number rises to just over 40%. That is a lot of newbies!

So, with that information in mind I briefly want to share with you some reflections that might be helpful for you as you begin in your ministry. And, if you’ve been around the traps for a while then I hope these pointers are a good refresher for you.

First, relationships are key, particularly with your Senior Pastor.

The number one relationship you have within your church, other than with Jesus, is your Senior Pastor.

No other relationship will have a bearing on your role and the way you function as a pastor than the relationship you have with your Senior Pastor. A strong relationship will provide a place of trust, honesty, and freedom in your role and will also allow for affirmation, encouragement and critique.

So, make sure you meet regularly with them. Either weekly or fortnightly. Anything longer and you won’t be building a good enough relationship. Seek to sit under their leadership and understand their vision and mission for the church and how you, in your role and ministry, support that.

This is also the relationship where the most tension will come. Bonem and Patterson, in their book Leading from the Second Chair, speak of it in terms of the subordinate-leadership paradox. Whereby we understand our authority and effectiveness comes from a healthy, subordinate relationship to the Senior Pastor. At different times there will be disagreement and it is the health and strength of the relationship that may determine how things go.

Other relationships are of course important – leadership teams, parents, young adults, young people, kids, schools, community groups etc. But, it is the Senior Pastor relationship that often needs to take priority.

Second, when you’re fresh, just listen and observe what’s going on.

Some pastoral ministry advice I have heard is that it is common to overestimate what you will achieve in your first year and underestimate what you will do in five. I think this is true.

I could come in with my predetermined programs and ideas and begin putting them in place without listening and observing what’s going on. In my 4-5 months I haven’t changed a thing. I’ve probably done some things a little differently but I haven’t made any structural or process changes to our youth and young adult ministries. I can see that in due course there will be a need to develop areas but right now it’s the listening and observation stage.

Each individual church is its own cultural microcosm and system. It can take many years for change to come about.

With this in mind I’d encourage you to simply listen to the stories of those who attend, ask them why they’re at the church, why do they stick around in this place? Speak to those in the youth group, the young adults and also the older ones in the congregation to get a sense of the history of the place. You may find that there are reasons why the church operates the way it does and it may seem completely logical in their mind and totally stupid in yours.

But just listen, listen and observe what’s going on and where God is at work.

Third, it’s important to have perspective.

We are broken people, working with broken people. And it is only by the grace of God that we do what we do.

It is such a privilege to disciple and equip people as they seek to know Jesus more and more. The amount of time, effort, and heartache that we put into our programs and our people can make us lose perspective at times.

There is great joy and great pain in ministry and it is only survived through a strong relationship with Jesus, who gives perspective to all things.

I am glad that my personhood and identity is not wrapped up in being a pastor. Being the Associate Pastor for Youth & Young Adults at Rowville Baptist Church is the current assignment God has for me, but my call is simply to follow Jesus and be more like Him. That allows me to have perspective in what I do.

It’s not easy. Not by any means.

But it is a truth that needs to be held onto.

Therefore, I want to encourage you to get a mentor or a ministry partner. Someone who you can trust, who knows what you are going through, and who can sit there and listen to you verbally vomit all over them. Someone who can understand the tough and challenging times but also someone who can lift the mirror up and tell you you’re being selfish and an idiot. Make sure you have someone like that, or a group of people like that, who can mutually support one-another, bring perspective to the various ministry situations you find yourself in, and pray with you and for you.

To finish I would like to remind you of 1 Corinthians 3:8-9 where Paul speaks of how God makes the church grow. “The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labour. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.”

May we be reminded, whether we’re starting fresh or an old hat, that it is God making things grow as we serve Him and His church.

Top Resources For Starting Fresh:

Millennials & Mission Organisations

Time_MillennialI’m a 1982 baby. Depending on what survey you’d like to agree with I sneak into the Millennial, or Gen Y, generation.

My wife and I headed to the Middle East when we were in our early twenties. Spurred on by a call to global missions we spent two years working as missionaries through a local school. Since then I’ve continued the ministry path as a Youth & Young Adults Pastor, and now working with the Australian Baptist mission agency – Global Interaction. My main tasks include walking alongside young adults and encouraging them to follow God into missions, connecting with churches and pastors, and facilitating short-term mission teams. For the last 12 years my world has involved working with youth and young adults in a variety of ways and mobilising them toward long-term mission service – here or overseas.

In the recent Evangelical Missions Quarterly journal Jim Raymo writes an article entitled “Mission & Millennials: Encouraging A Generation Toward Mission Service”. In this post I simply want to engage with it and affirm it. But also, after months of pondering and talking about this article with a few people I’d like to add my own reflections to what Raymo has said.

Engaging with Millennials is an important topic for mission agencies and churches to be thinking about. It will be the Millennial generation who will be the most active on the mission field in 10-20 years time. They will be the next team leaders, the next organisational leaders, the ones who will pass the faith onto the following generation and continue the enormous task of reaching the least-reached.

When I look at the Christian young adults I come across I see people who are wrestling with what God is calling them to. They want to serve Jesus in the best way possible, use their gifts, skills, and abilities in ways that will extend His kingdom, and bring love and compassion to those who don’t see much of it. They seek to serve God and serve others, willing to give up opportunities in the West to serve in other places and in other cultures.

In light of this mission agencies may like to consider the following points in how best to integrate young adults into the life of their organisation.

1. Communicate regularly and clearly
A large portion of the points Raymo makes are related to communication, spoken and unspoken. In fact, it may cover all his points. Leaders need to be willing to communicate the ‘why’ in everything. Whether it is the ‘why’ of the organisation or the ‘why’ of a particular task in a particular project. We like to know why we’re doing what we’re doing and whether it actually has any significance. There’s nothing worse than being given tasks that seem irrelevant. But if the relevance is explained and questions answered, that’s certainly helpful. Oh, and don’t skirt the issue, just tell us plainly what’s going on.

2. Give room for improvement and growth
Linked to communication is the aspect of improvement and growth. In each role I’ve had I have always wanted to grow in my experience and expertise. In any role I want to know if it is actually helping me in my ‘career’ or chosen vocation. If it’s not helping or is looking like a dead end I get nervous. I want to improve and better myself, organisations need to show how this can occur.

3. Show and tell high expectations
Everyone has expectations and we, as a Millennial generation, have high expectations. We want the best out of ourselves and the best out of everybody else. If people aren’t pulling their weight then we quickly become frustrated and annoyed with them and the system. It’s like the group assignments at uni, nothing worse than a person who doesn’t put in and gets good marks off the back of everyone else. The leaders we work for need to show they have high expectations for themselves too. Give us a task and tell us you want to achieve a high level of success, tell us your benchmark of what success looks like. We’ll try our damn hardest to get there if we reckon it’s a goer.

4. Be open to new ideas
The phrase “that’s the way we’ve always done it” is the worst possible phrase to come out of any leader’s mouth. Don’t say it. Don’t even think of saying it. If you do, you’ll lose us. Our ideas aren’t meant to be radical or cutting edge. They’re not meant to be upsetting for people who are not used to them either. Our ideas are simply that, ideas. But somewhere along the line you’ll need to give us the freedom to work with them and do them. Let us do that and you might be amazed at how things turn out.

5. Respect
If you’re not communicating, not giving us room to grow, not setting high expectations, and not open to new ideas then you’re telling us you’ve got no respect. Respect is earned, but it is also there initially when you take us on or when you have that first conversation with us. Respect us for who we are and what we can do and help us grow as people.

6. Have a big vision of God and the work
Of all organisations, mission agencies should be the ones who are leading and equipping people to serve God. God who rules the world and continues to play an active role within it. God who is spoken of with such high and lofty language in Scripture that we should be able to see that vision of God a mile off. Like generations of the past, we hunger after more of God and seek to be part of what He is doing. So tell me why your organisation is one I should be involved with and what kind of vision of God you have in the work you do.

Reflecting on Leadership Development

I was recently asked to reflect on leadership development by answering three questions. I didn’t have a long time to answer but I thought it’d be worth posting here. What would your answers have been?

Where have you drawn inspiration from in your approaches to leadership development?

My approaches to leadership development have been modelled to me from previous youth pastors and pastors that I sat under in church. Since those days it has now been thought through with talking to other mentors, books, and some of it at Bible College. There is a sense that it has been drawn from the Bible itself, with Jesus as a model of discipleship more than leadership, if that can be separated.

What is working for you or what have you observed working in churches in the area of leadership development?

I think one-on-one investment into people is the most beneficial leadership development “technique”. It seems to be about relationship and modelling good leadership practice. While group work, workshops, and different talks on leadership is helpful there is nothing like having someone walking beside you/walking with someone and helping them reflect on their leadership.

What should we be doing to best support leadership development at a movement level?

In the next few years it would be vital to give younger people leadership experiences – whether they succeed or fail doesn’t really matter. But, it is the experience in leadership which is needed to grow good leaders for the future.

What do you think?