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February 25, 2016

Scaling Leadership Development: Taking Leaders from Here to There

By Daniel Im

Q&A Webinars are a monthly segment for Plus Members. This is where you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions to the leading experts in church planting, multisite, and multiplication. Q&A webinars are your unique opportunity to ask your questions to these thought leaders. For this month’s segment, Ed and I talk to Kevin Peck, Lead Pastor at The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, TX. Plus Members can watch the full segment by logging in and then clicking here.

Scaling Leadership Development: Taking Leaders from Here to There

Recently I watched Everest, a movie based on a true story about a couple of commercial expeditions that attempted to guide experienced mountain climbers to the pinnacle of Mt. Everest, which tragically, resulted in the deaths of multiple climbers. Although I’m not a mountain climber, I was struck with great interest at the thrill, exhilaration, and adrenaline rush of tackling a feat like scaling Mt. Everest. I also found something very interesting within the movie—the different camp levels as the climbers scaled the mountain. The climbers started at basecamp. From basecamp they climbed to Camp 1 and rested, then Camp 2 and rested, then Camp 3 and rested, until they reached Camp 4, which was at the base of Everest’s pinnacle. It was quite a long, strenuous, exhilarating, daunting, and dangerous journey as the climbers went from the base to the pinnacle.

The scenes of the various levels of camps got me thinking about leadership development. In reality, leadership development is like scaling, or climbing, a mountain. It’s about moving people from here (where they are) to there (the pinnacle of where you know they can be). I know there are those within Christian circles that don’t like to hear about the topic and concept of leadership development. But the reality is that if Ephesians 4 teaches that church leaders are to equip the believers (or the church) to do the work of the ministry, it only seems logical that the more leaders the church produces, the more people they have overseeing those who do the work of the ministry. Thus, leadership development in my opinion is a much warranted topic.

Recently, Ed and I chatted with Kevin Peck, Lead Pastor at The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, TX. In our Q&A Webinar, Kevin continued talking about leadership development as an incremental ladder, where the goal of leadership development is moving people from one level to the next with the hopes that they (the leaders in development) become a world-changer. Kevin shared at least three main principles for moving leaders from one level to the next with the hopes they become disciple-making, leader-reproducing, church-multiplying, world-changing leaders.

1. Passion

If you’re not passionate about something, eventually your fascination with it will slowly dissipate. What usually happens with leaders interested in leadership development, according to Kevin, is that things come up, leaders get busy, and as a result leadership development is placed on the back burner. But if leadership development will become a part of a leader’s life, he or she must possess a deep passion and conviction that they must develop leaders. When a passion and conviction to develop leaders is present and persistent, then no matter what happens—or how busy one gets—the desire to practice leadership development remains. For Kevin and The Austin Stone leaders, leadership development is ingrained in their very DNA.

2. Plan

If you don’t plan for leadership development you tend to develop people in your image. On the one hand that may not be a bad thing; Paul, in fact, said, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). However, on the other hand, if you are a leader who’s competent in one area but weak in another, the tendency is to develop lop-sided leaders. According to Kevin, creating a competency plan works to develop a more complete, well-rounded leader. This is why Kevin and The Austin Stone plan their leadership development—regardless of what area it is—around the following three questions: (1) What kind of character do they need to have, (2) What skills do they need to possess, and (3) What knowledge do they need to gain? The answers to these questions—which Kevin suggests should be between 3–5—may differ from one area of leadership to the next, but will form the leadership competencies you aim (or plan) to develop in each person.

To read the final point about Austin Stone’s process of developing leaders click here for the full video and post. 

This video is part of Plus Membership, so to get full access to it, and much more, I encourage you to become a Plus Member. Click here to see all the benefits of becoming a Plus Member.

Tweetables:

  • Leadership development is like scaling, or climbing, a mountain.
  • Leadership dev is about moving people from here (where they are) to there (the pinnacle of where you know they can be).
  • @_kpeck_ believes having a passion, plan, and process for leadership development can create world-changing leaders.
  • If you’re not passionate about something eventually your fascination with it will slowly dissipate.
  • Leaders must possess a deep passion and conviction for leadership development otherwise development will eventually fizzle.
  • If you don’t have a plan for leadership dev, you typically develop people just like you. @_kpeck_
  • Creating a leadership dev competency plan aids in developing a complete leader rather than a lop-sided one.
  • Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, a world-changing leader isn’t developed over night.
  • @_kpeck_ encourages not to become too systematized in leadership dev—start small and incrementally progress.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daniel Im

Daniel Im (@danielsangi) is the Director of Church Multiplication for NewChurches.com at LifeWay Christian Resources. He is a Teaching Pastor at The Fellowship, a multisite church in Nashville. He is the author of No Silver Bullets: Five Small Shifts that will Transform Your Ministry, and co-author of Planting Missional Churches: Your Guide to Starting Churches that Multiply (2nd ed) with Ed Stetzer. He also co-hosts the New Churches Q&A Podcast, the 5 Leadership Questions Podcast, and a brand new podcast with his wife on marriage and parenting called the IMbetween Podcast. He has an M.A. in Global Leadership and has served and pastored in church plants and multisite churches ranging from 100 people to 50,000 people in Vancouver, Ottawa, Montreal, Korea, Edmonton, and Nashville. Visit Danielim.com to learn more.

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