I was working with a church a few years ago that was facing a growth barrier. They had experienced rapid growth, but the staff was stretched beyond what they could do. There were holes of responsibilities not being filled. My opinion, and they agreed, was they couldn’t continue growing unless something changed.
The “genius” suggestion I gave them is not genius at all. It’s commonsensical. They needed to find new leaders, empower them with authority, and spread the load of responsibility.
Duh! And, to think I sometimes get paid for this stuff.
Yet, in every church, sometimes finding volunteers feels like searching for a needle in a haystack.
The obvious question: Where do we find these new leaders?
And, that’s a great question!
I suggested they look for three types of people:
People currently “doing” who need to be leading.
These are people who are consistently serving. They are the reliable people you couldn’t do without. They have been given responsibility, but never been tapped for authority. Not all “doers” have the capability of being leaders, but many do if given the opportunity. Seek them. Recruit them. Empower them.
People serving in one area, who could lead in another area.
These are people who are serving in the children’s ministry, for example, who could be leading in the parking ministry—or vice-versa. Many times people are serving in one area because there is a need, but they could easily be stellar leaders in another area. And, it might even build new enthusiasm to them and their service. In fact, discerning these types of people early enough often keeps them from burning out where they are currently serving.
People leading outside the church.
This is absolutely my favorite, yet one I don’t see many churches doing. There are often people in the church who are tremendous leaders in the secular world, but they’ve never been given an opportunity to lead in the church. These are sometimes “big asks,” but in my experience they won’t often get involved until they are asked. In my last church, some of our best leaders on our finance committee, for example, had never served in leadership in the church. They were, however, tremendous leaders in their careers.
The final thing I would say is you have to be intentional in leadership recruitment. People come to your church and see things working. They don’t know you need help, because everything appears to be working. There doesn’t seem to be a place for them. Again, in my experience, you’ll have to ask the best leaders to join your team.
How do you find new leaders? What would you add to my list?
This article originally appeared here.