Jump directly to the content

Already a subscriber?

Home > Issues > 2010 > Winter > Good News, Bad News in Raising Leaders
Article Preview. Log in or subscribe now.

One of the first things Jesus did in his public ministry was to identify and develop future leaders who would advance his kingdom and mission (Mark 1:16-20; John 1:35-51). Paul modeled this as well, investing in emerging leaders like Timothy and Titus, among others. How are we doing with this crucial aspect of leadership in the church today? Are we building for the next generation, or have we overlooked this crucial component of our mission?

Recently, LifeWay Research surveyed pastors about the church's leadership development and mission. We asked them to rate their agreement in the following three areas:

Investing in leaders through the church

The survey asked pastors to respond to this statement: "I am intentionally investing in leaders who will emerge over the next ten years."

Pastors strongly believe they are doing just that—67 percent strongly agreed and 26 percent somewhat agreed. Wow! That's 93 percent who are convinced that they are investing in emerging leaders. They also affirmed that the church has a responsibility to develop future leaders.

But when asked to evaluate how well the church is accomplishing the task of leadership development, most agreed, but not nearly as enthusiastically. We posed this statement: "The church does a good job fostering and developing new leaders." This time 26 percent strongly agreed and 52 percent somewhat agreed, a drop in overall agreement of 15 percent. In addition, a significant amount of disagreement starts to appear—21 percent either somewhat or strongly disagreed with the statement.

While pastors believe that the church is a place where leaders need to be developed and they see themselves investing in this task, they generally recognize a real deficit in the church's effectiveness in accomplishing it. Although efforts are being made, pastors are not confident that the church is nurturing and growing new leaders adequately.

Fulfilling your ministry through the church

The terminology and process may differ from group to group, but the nature of one's "calling" in ministry is important in accomplishing Christ's mission. Therefore, pastors were asked to respond to this declaration: "I am currently in a season where I am living out my calling and making a difference."

Pastors gave an overwhelmingly positive response! 86 percent strongly agreed and 11 percent somewhat agreed. Their satisfaction level drops, however, when asked to respond to this assertion: "I am satisfied with the way I am currently fulfilling my calling."

Interestingly, only 53 percent strongly agree (a 33 percent drop in strong agreement) and 35 percent somewhat agree. While pastors expressed a strong sense of calling and ministry purpose, many revealed that something is missing that could bring them higher satisfaction in their ministries.

Making a difference through the church

The survey also asked, "If I had a friend who wanted to make a difference, I would encourage him or her to do so through their church." Not one pastor disagreed ...

log in

To view the rest of this article, you must be a subscriber to LeadershipJournal.net. Activate your online account for complete access.

Also in this Issue: Winter 2010

Digital Tools for Shepherding SeniorsSubscriber Access Only

Why you should bring your laptop on your next pastoral care visit.

Elemental PreachingSubscriber Access Only

The irreducible qualities of gravity, light, and air give life to a sermon and to those who hear it.

Neither Traditional Nor EmergingSubscriber Access Only

A review of Jim Belcher's book Deep Church.

Tying the Clouds TogetherSubscriber Access Only

Rob Bell's metaphors and references make his listeners stretch, but his wisdom for preachers is down to earth.

Not a Subscriber?

Subscribe Today!

  • Monthly issues on web and iPad
  • Web exclusives and archives on Leadership Journal.net
  • Quarterly print issues

Print subscriber? Activate your online account for complete access.

Join the Conversation

Average User Rating: Not rated

No comments

Use your Leadership Journal login to easily comment and rate this article.
Not part of the community? Subscribe, or on public pages, register for a free account.
Reader's Pick
The Gift of Volunteers

The Gift of Volunteers

Operation Christmas Child’s Randy Riddle on growing and cultivating your volunteers.
Sister Sites
Leading the Elder BoardBuilding Church Leaders

Leading the Elder Board