Take someone with you. It’s the most overlooked and easiest way to develop people.
I’ve never worked with or consulted with a church that believed they had enough leaders. In fact, most churches are looking for some off the shelf content or course they can take people through and then call them leaders. Content and concepts can be helpful to understanding leadership practices. But understanding leadership doesn’t make someone a leader. Leadership is best learned by leading and being around other good leaders.
It takes time to develop people. Great leaders are gifted to be great leaders, but they also develop that gift over time. One simple way that you can help young leaders develop their leadership gift is to give them access to you and to allow them to watch you lead up close and personal.
Take them with you.
Invite them into you schedule
It doesn’t necessarily require a lot of extra time for you to invest in others if you invite them into your schedule. Seriously, just have them come with you wherever you go. It gives them access to meetings, conversations and decision making that they normally wouldn’t get the opportunity to see first-hand. Yes, even allow them to observe Sr. Leadership Team meetings, Board meetings and coaching meetings you have with other team members. In those meetings just have them observe, literally don’t let them say a word. Just observe. Over time you can invite their input when it would be helpful to the conversation or helpful to them.
With all of that shadowing they’re doing, there’s going to be natural moments walking or driving from one thing to the next for you to debrief them. Simply ask them what they observed and coach them to observe and understand the right things. Take a moment to answer any questions that they have about what they observed.
I know this post may seem over simplified…you may be reading and thinking, “That’s it?” Well…yeah…that’s it. You don’t have to over complicate what it means to develop other people. No, taking people with you isn’t the end all, be all method of people development. But based on my interaction with churches, if church leaders just took this step it would net much better results that what they’re getting.
This article originally appeared here.