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My team at The Unstuck Group recently conducted a small research project to identify the top five most common “core issues” of churches that go through our Strategic Planning Process. One of these common recurring issues is Leadership Development and Structure.

We are noticing that in many churches, there has never been a priority placed on leadership development. For churches to continue growing, this area cannot be overlooked. Senior Leadership teams rarely have a person with the specific role of championing leadership development. Breakdowns happen when this is treated like a program instead of a foundational aspect to the growth and health of a church.

Last week I connected with Amy Anderson to talk about why many churches seem to be stuck in this particular area. Below are some interview highlights:

  • Churches get stuck in leadership development when the senior pastor is looking to one, maybe two people for most of the leadership of the church.
  • A symptom of a staffing and structure issue is when you no longer know how to make decisions anymore.
  • Churches tend to ignore leadership issues because they are complicated and involve change.
  • One of the most common struggles in a single site is that there is not enough diversity on the leadership team.
  • Another struggle of a single site church is that the leadership team has gotten too big. When you get beyond 8 people, it is very difficult to communicate and get consensus on direction.
  • For multisite churches, the greatest structural challenge seems to be status quo thinking. Everyone on the team must move from mono to multisite thinking.
  • Leadership development must be embraced by the senior leadership team.
  • One next step churches can take in leadership development is to stop looking at it as a program or event–it needs to be about a relational connection.


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