Building A Healthy Leadership Development Process

The Church Revitalization Podcast – Episode 148

Are leaders born or made? Yes! There are certainly people who are born with characteristics that allow them to rise to the top of organizations and perform at high levels. We also believe, though, that people with lesser leadership skills can be trained up into better leaders than they may have been otherwise. For that reason, we instruct church leaders all over the world on building a system for developing leaders in the church. 

Here at The Malphurs Group, we hold a very broad definition for the term “leader.” We think everyone serving in the church is a leader, and leaders exist at all levels of the church. Whether you’re simply leading yourself in a very basic position, or leading the entire church as a pastor or elder, every leader plays an important role.

So how do we help people grow in their leadership skills, and perform at higher and higher levels of effectiveness? Three things…Assess, Train, and Launch.

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Who may be a candidate for a leadership position in the church? There has to be a standard set, and most churches don’t take the time to develop those standards ahead of time. Before a leadership development process can be deployed, a set of common standards for character and capacity must be in place. It brings a level of objectivity for people to be measured against.

Assessment not only happens at the entry point in which someone begins serving in the church, but it’s also a continuous process in which the individual is re-assessed regularly to evaluate their performance in their position.


Before someone launches into a leadership role in the church, they obviously need training. That’s not the end of the process, though. Just as everyone should continuously be assessed in their performance within their role, they should also continuously be trained up.

This is a posture of care that leaders should take with those that serve in positions under them. We should be seeking the best from everyone and training them to do their best work. You could also view training up others as an act of service to them. That should be the heart of everyone in leadership, always seeking to help others rise.


How do we get the right people in the right position at the right time doing the right thing? The act of launching someone into a leadership position is also a continuous thing. Think of Space X rockets instead of old NASA rockets. NASA would launch a rocket and it was a one-time event. That’s how people usually view launching a new leader into a role in the church. Now consider Space X. When they launch a rocket, it returns at a pre-set time, get’s what it needs to go again, and re-launches over and over. Leaders can be re-launched after assessment and training back into their existing role, or into a new role or position.

Some people seek higher levels of leadership, but others do not. They may be happy doing the same job for long periods of time. For those people, continue to assess and train them. Then, re-launch them back into that role that God made them for. Those who seek higher levels of leadership must be assessed against the higher level that they seek. They must be found ready for that level before making the move.

God is sovereign in all things; including placing the people in your church right now for exactly what He wants to accomplish. Our job as church leaders is to help them find how God has designed them to play the role He has for them. Then, our job is to do everything we can to help them succeed in that role.

Leadership development is a key element that highly effective churches have in common. If you want to increase the quantity and quality of ministry that your church is capable of doing, build leaders.

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A.J. Mathieu is the President of the Malphurs Group. He is passionate about helping churches thrive. A.J. lives in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex, enjoys the outdoors, and loves spending time with his wife and two sons. Click here to email A.J.

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