There is one main thing to learn about leadership growth...you must be intentional. No one ever drifted into better leadership skills. No one accidentally finds themselves a mature leader.
I remember being challenged several years ago, by a pastor/mentor. He asked, "Loren what are you doing to grow daily as a leader?" The question caught me off guard. To be honest, at that point, I was just trying to keep up with the demands of ministry.
But the question stuck with me and over time I developed my own growth plan for becoming a better leader.
I've always loved this quote by John Maxwell, "You can't change your life until you change what you do everyday." If growth isn't something you focus on daily, it just doesn't happen. But here's the good news...it doesn't take a lot of time.
Let me suggest 5 ways you can immediately begin to grow as a leader:
1. Find your mentors. Take 30 minutes and identify which areas you want to develop as a leader. Perhaps you want to take better care of your body, or have a healthier marriage, or be a more effective team leader. Maybe you want to be a stronger communicator or develop the ability to lead change in your congregation. Whatever you need to learn, someone already knows. For each area of growth, identify a mentor to meet with. I believe this is the fastest and most effective way to grow.
One idea is to put together a 12 month growth plan by selecting 12 areas of growth and 12 mentors. Think about which leaders could best serve you. Most pastors and leaders desire to help other pastors. Almost every time I have reached out to a potential mentor they have been happy to help. I simply ask for one hour of their time. I come prepared with quality questions and I take great notes. After the meeting I write and thank them for their time, and I begin to implement the ideas and strategies I learned.
Recently, I sat down with a mentor who pastors the largest missions giving church in our region. For one hour he shared ideas that I could implement in my congregation. This past year we gave more to world missions that any year in the past ten.
Here is a sample 12 month growth plan. Identify a mentor who could help you in each area.
2. Listen to podcasts. Subscribe to podcasts on your phone and they are automatically updated when a new episode is posted. I grow as a leader during my morning jogs, while commuting to a meeting, and while waiting on appointments. This new way of learning has been very valuable. Check out my favorite podcasts on my resources page.
3. Read and/or listen to audio books. The old saying is true..."Readers are leaders and leaders are readers." Most leaders want to read more, but how do you find the time? Here are a few ways to find more time for reading:
4. Invest in the growth of other leaders. Pastors learn best by doing. Your experience has shaped you into the leader you are today. As you are intentional about raising up other leaders around you, you can't help but grow. Two great ways to help other leaders grow:
5. Find a ministry coach. Coaching provides clear action plans and accountability. These are the missing elements in the growth of many leaders. It's not common for pastors to lead in isolation. Good leaders give others permission to speak into their lives and propel them to great effectiveness. Learn more about coaching.
Question: What ideas do you have for growing as a church leader. Leave your comments on Facebook.
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Hi! I'm Loren Hicks. I am follower of Jesus, a husband, a father, a friend, and for the past