Sunday, January 31, 2021

Developing Next Level Leaders

A key need for our growing mission is more wise and experienced leaders who are able to think strategically and are skilled at developing the next generation of FOCUS pastors. Mandy Lanciani has been an amazing partner in developing our younger pastors for over a decade, and Garrett Davis has stepped up in that area the past few years. But now, the three of us do not have the time or bandwidth to do the kind of life-on-life mentoring and leadership development that we value with a staff of 40! 

To that end, I've been investing in 13 of our staff ministers over the past year with the goal of helping them take their leadership to the next level. I'm hoping to develop leaders who can mentor younger pastors, pass on our values effectively, and shape the culture of our team and our broader community. Every other week, we meet on Zoom to discuss leadership principles, work through case studies, and talk about how to move FOCUS forward. I love getting to do this! The only thing I don't love is that I don't get to do it with all of our younger staff. They are all so gifted in different ways, but these 13 are the ones I've identified as most poised to step into new leadership opportunities in the next couple of years. 

Our most recent lesson comes from a Habitudes book by Dr. Tim Elmore. He writes, "In the classic story of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy illustrates a new kind of leader. She invites her friends on a journey, helps them discover their gifts, encourages them, and walks with them rather than insisting on being up front. She doesn't have all the answers but she gets them to their goal." That pretty much captures the kind of leaders we want at the helm of our organization! Building leaders for the kingdom is about helping people grow into men and women who can be used by God wherever they go. 

Dr. Elmore thinks the leader of the future will be marked by these qualities:

  1. Highly relational
  2. Interpret culture well
  3. Emotionally secure
  4. Share ownership freely
  5. Empower others
  6. Comfortable with uncertainty
  7. Listen and foster self-discovery
  8. Embrace the role of a mentor
  9. Less formal in structure
  10. Driven by service more than ego
Sounds like Jesus to me! Please be praying that I and those under my leadership will grow in these qualities in the coming year. We have huge opportunities ahead as the schools open back up!

Student Testimony

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