You must learn how to identify and grow individually and in your team’s leadership capacities.
While it’s not something we want to admit, at some point, we have to face the facts: we were not all created to be leaders.
I strongly believe we were all given gifts to serve the Kingdom in a unique way. But, leadership isn’t always one of them. And for those of us who are leaders, we weren’t all designed to lead the same way. God gifts us to lead in various capacities. But also, God gives us opportunities to grow and stretch our leadership abilities.
I hear often from pastors struggling to develop more leaders. I was reminded recently of a podcast episode where Amy and I highlighted how to define different leadership capacities, as well as how to determine if certain people have the leadership gifting. It’s good, and I wanted to touch on a few of the things said—
God Gifts Different People in Leadership
Think of your team in the way Paul teaches about the body in 1 Corinthians—your team is one, singular and unified body. When all the many parts are healthy and functioning at their best, the healthier the body as a whole.
When your team members are individually operating in their strengths, you are generating a much larger impact for the Kingdom because these people are doing what only they can do best.
In Scripture, we see a lot of examples of God gifting certain individuals with the gift of leadership, but we also see God giving them the ability to lead in different capacities.
The visual below gives more detail. But to make sure you are operating well, you have two main questions to consider:
1) Do we have leaders in leadership roles?
2) If they do they have the leadership gift, do they have the right leadership capacity for the role we’ve given them?
Define Leadership Capacities
After determining who the leaders are within your team, it’s important to determine the unique capacities that each leader can hold. In other words, how many people do you think these leaders are equipped to lead?
In Exodus 18, we see the concept of leaders of tens, fifties, hundreds and thousands. These people are team builders, but the difference lies in the number of people and teams they can build well.
These leaders operating in their strengths deliver results. And in turn, other staff members will be lead well and able to succeed in their roles.Leaders operating in their strengths deliver results. And in turn, other staff members will be lead well and able to succeed in their roles. Click To Tweet
I touch on leaders of different capacity in my book, The Unstuck Church: Equipping Churches to Reach Sustained Health.
All leaders need mentorship to discover their capacity and grow to new levels. People who start out leading 10s may have the capacity to become leaders of 50s. People who lead 100s well may be great leading 1000s, but then again, they may not.
It takes leaders who have walked this pathway investing in their teams to help them find out.
Growing Your Staff’s Leadership Abilities
Leaders have a lid—a point of operating beyond successful ability. But through coaching and mentoring, it is possible to grow leadership capacity.Leaders have a lid—a point of operating beyond successful ability. But through coaching and mentoring, it is possible to grow leadership capacity. Click To Tweet
The key, however, is being intentional when it comes to encouraging leaders to take their next step. Are they given opportunities to lead differently? Lead more people? A specific ministry or team?
This is an important system to have implemented in your staff structure. Just like other spiritual gifts, we, as leaders and as the Church, have a responsibility to help leaders develop and maximize their gift.Just like other spiritual gifts, we, as leaders and as the Church, have a responsibility to help leaders develop and maximize their gift. Click To Tweet
Providing opportunities to lead at a higher level is key to understanding where that lid sits. And, having this system clearly defined is key for developing leaders on your team.
Amy and I dig in more in depth on this podcast episode— How to Increase Your Leadership Capacity on The Unstuck Church Podcast. I go a bit beyond the numbers and give more context when it come to capacity. I think you’ll find it helpful.