Leadership selection is often described as an art. If that’s the case, artist still need tools to create their work. When evaluating the readiness of young leaders it helps to have an idea of what your organization needs and what you are willing to do to develop their gifts.
Is Vision enough?
Vision and passion are rarely in short supply for younger leaders. They will need it to create something new. It provides the fuel for moving through challenges and reaching goals.
But is it enough? Successful development and execution of a plan also requires time which is often spelled p-a-t-i-e-n-c-e and requires persistence. How do we select leaders with patient endurance? What should we be looking for?
While assessing potential church planting leaders I look for a laundry list of strengths, but I run them through the following filter. I ask:
• Are they called?
• Are they gifted?
• Is this the right time?
The Decision Matrix…
Calling: Some people stumble over this concept. I simply describe calling as alignment of vision, mission and values. Where these three line up and point toward a direction, even if its fuzzy, there’s calling. Character development and maturity play a factor too, but what I’m looking for is consistent movement in a specific direction. And I want to know if their calling is motivated by God’s love.
Gifting: Spiritual gifts, personality, family of origin and training all play a part in determining a leader’s capacity for starting a church. I also add to this filter, repeated ministry practice that yields fruit. Effective practice results in fruit and yields something else that’s important… courage. Courage consistently practice becomes hope. Leaders with hope stay on course.
Timing: Leaders can be exceptionally gifted and prepared, but for one reason or another the timing may be off. Marriage, Family, Stakeholders, Finances, Careers and myriads of other circumstances can be a factor for timing. There will always be risk involved when starting new churches or ministries. Jesus can and will direct our steps if we are paying attention. When we have confirmation from the Lord that the timing is right it builds our faith.
What’s your grid for assessing leaders? If you have one, how do you find the leaders to assess? What are you looking for? What is your mobilization strategy?
Once you’ve assessed them for strengths, what do you do to determine if they have the character qualities you require? How do you get close enough to know them over time?
Finally, what is your system for matching leadership candidates with ministry assignments that give them repeated practice with the assistance of a mentor or coach?