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How About Training Christian Leaders?

Raise up and train Christian leaders. In the call packet, that was one of the requests of the congregation I currently serve. I would guess almost all churches would like to have that as part
of their program. Strong Christian leadership helps steer the direction of the congregation, provides stability, and models for others what spiritual leadership looks like. Could leadership
development, and also targeted personal development, be another offering at a church?

Over the past months, Teach the Word has given samples and examples of Bible studies to offer beyond the typical Sunday morning study. Growth groups in large congregations and medium to smaller congregations, online growth groups, multi-generational studies, and digging deeper into Bible doctrine studies are ways a congregation can expand its Bible study offerings. A more targeted study or group could aim at developing leaders at home and in the congregation.

Leadership-Paper-BoatEvery two months a group of five men and I meet for about one hour for what is called LEAD (Leadership Exploration and Development). The LEAD Gatherings provide opportunities to grow in the Word and pray together, reflect on and share what victories we’ve enjoyed with our goals and plans, reflect on and share what areas we know still need improvement, and discuss an assigned reading from a book. At the end of the article, you will find a link to a sample agenda and study guide. Here are the areas we focus on to carry out the LEAD program:

Life Resiliency Action Plan – To be a Christian leader, we focus on ten domains of our life where we want to have a plan for growth. These are from the book Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt. The areas are: 1) spiritual, 2) intellectual, 3) emotional, 4) physical, 5) marital, 6) parental, 7) social, 8) vocational, 9) avocational, and 10) financial. Participants design and personalize their plans to grow in these areas. Often the best place to begin developing as leaders for our church is to further develop our leadership skills at home.

Peer Coaching – Participants are paired up to serve as peer coaches for one another. Once a week, they review with each other how their Life Resiliency Action Plan is going; this accountability helps us carry out our plans and keeps us on task to accomplish our goals. They also receive and give encouragement; this reassurance helps us to keep striving to reach our goals and supports us in what we want to accomplish with God’s blessing.

Reading Plan – Part of the leadership development is reading good materials. We read and discuss two books over the course of a year. The reading assignments are purposely not overwhelming (averaging about 55-65 pages per month). Some books we’ve read are
The Lies We Believe by Dr. Chris Thurman, Essentialism by Greg McKeown, The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller, and Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt.

Using a plan like the one above isn’t only for developing Christian men in a congregation. It could be used for helping anyone in the congregation target areas they want to improve and develop in their Christian stewardship of life.

Sample agenda and study for LEAD Gathering

Dan Schroeder