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Congregational Leadership Development

Good leadership moves people and congregations forward. Explore this collection for valuable information regarding church leadership development and resources.


8 Resources
Getting the Help You Deserve
This article shares how congregations can use resources starting with self-awareness and...
Exponential Next
This organization promotes innovation among congregations by connecting entrepreneurial clergy...
web resource
Building Church Leaders
This website of practical training packs quickly equips leaders and teams for effective...
Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change
Written by an organizational consultant, this book contains examples and strategies for...
Change and Conflict in Your Congregation (Even If You Hate Both)
This book frames conflict as a tool to move congregations forward if used positively. In this...
Boundaries for Leaders: Results, Relationships, and Being Ridiculously in Charge
This resource will help congregational leaders learn how to be thoughtful and intentional...
The Business of the Church: The Uncomfortable Truth that Faithful Ministry Requires Effective...
This resource argues that responsibilities like finances and personnel are part of maintaining...
What Every Pastor Should Know: 101 Indispensable Rules of Thumb for Leading Your Church
This toolkit lists 101 rules that can be applicable for nearly any congregation, and includes...

Guest Contributor

Kate White

Kate was the associate director for resources at the Center for Congregations. She managed educational resources and worked to get the best resources into the hands of congregations.

Church Leadership Development Resources

Today, there can be a number of major challenges which congregations may find themselves facing. Church leadership development resources can be valuable tools for any congregation to help their leaders with a number of relevant topics - conflict, self-care, effective communications, listening, decision making, and more. With access to numerous church leadership training materials, including online church leadership education, there are numerous opportunities out there which exist to provide leadership learning for religious leaders. With these resources, it may be possible for religious leaders to directly address many of the challenges that might be facing their congregations today. Religious leaders who are able to adapt to the modern environment and continually improve their skills may be able to help place their congregations in the best position possible to be successful in the present era.

For example, one of the biggest challenges that congregations often face today is something called “digital ministry”. There are lots of congregations out there that are looking for ways to establish a digital ministry strategy, as many people are not able to physically come to a building. When congregations are able to effectively establish a digital ministry strategy, though, then they will be more able to reach people. However, these groups might also be realizing that they need to have a specific team in place, in order to target an online audience. Congregations might consider a possible change in structure, then, if they would like to effectively implement this strategy.

Another major challenge that congregations may find themselves facing is one which involves family ministry. Many religious groups are now beginning to recognize that reaching young adults might be important for their future. Perhaps unfortunately, though, the younger generation can prove to be quite different from the generations that came before them. They can sometimes have short attention spans, demand quick results, and may not even believe that the church is going to have a role in their life, moving forward. With this in mind, it might become a priority for congregations to refine the leadership tactics that they would like to use in order to reach young adults, because in order to survive and thrive, they may in fact need to cater toward the younger generation.

Church Leadership Training

In order to address these challenges, it may be good for religious leaders to invest in church leadership training. When looking at church training programs, there are multiple different types of leadership training available. For instance, it might be a good idea to start by taking a look at an online church leadership training curriculum. Here, church leaders will not only be able to learn more about how they can use technology to reach the congregation, but will also be able to go through the training process without having to physically travel to an outside location. This might be one of the most cost-effective ways for church leaders to undergo church leadership training, particularly if the budget is a little bit tight.

Another option for church leadership training is to go to something called a “church leadership training conference”. This can represent an opportunity for church leaders to travel to a specific location and learn from people who are in the same position as them. They might even be able to learn from some of those people who have been able to specifically make the transition into the modern era. By learning from the experiences of other leaders who have experienced some of the same challenges, it might then become possible for these church leaders to be more successful.

Finally, another potentially effective option for church leadership training is to enroll in a specific class or educational program that is uniquely tailored to modern church leadership styles. For example, there are specific courses out there that might be able to help church leaders learn more about specific topics such as technology, digital ministry, young adults, and interpreting religious texts for a more modern audience. Ultimately, church leaders who are looking to make an impact in the current environment may end up benefiting immensely from undergoing church leadership training. And while there are numerous religious leaders who are very comfortable in leading members of the older generation, many congregations might be finding that their audience is increasingly skewing in a younger direction. In order to keep the younger generation interested, then, church leadership can be a key element to pay attention to.

Church Leadership Development

Even though church leadership training might be seen as an important topic to focus on, it may also be seen as equally important to build upon this through the process of church leadership development. Church-based leadership development training can be helpful for taking religious leaders and refining their development, placing them in a better position to be successful. And while it can be helpful to refer to a church leadership training outline, which can probably be found through a church leadership training online, it can also be a good idea to focus on a church leadership development strategy.

During training, certain topics are likely going to be introduced to future religious leaders. Then, it may be good to refine these topics for the purposes of church leadership development. For instance, during the development process, religious leaders might find themselves in specific situations where they have to apply a lot of the topics that they have learned during the leadership training process. By applying the concepts that they have learned in training, they may then be enabled to fully develop into strong leaders.

In the end, there can be a lot of changes taking place in the religious world. And while this training can be helpful, training itself is likely not going to cover every situation in which religious leaders are going to find themselves. In order for leaders to be successful, it may be necessary for them to be able to think on the fly, adapt to different situations, and hold their congregation together. That is where church leadership development can be so helpful.

Church Leadership Training Topics

In church leadership training programs, there are numerous church leadership training topics that are likely going to be covered. With helpful church leadership meeting topics, religious leaders will be able to learn about a wide variety of issues that they might be facing in their own congregations. For example, one of the key topics that is likely going to be covered is how to deal with a diverse congregation. While it will likely be impossible for congregations to cater to everyone, it can still benefit church leaders to think about how they're going to keep the congregation involved. With the right helpful training resources, church leaders will be able to learn about how they can work to keep the congregation together, even as it becomes more diverse.

It may also prove helpful to have church leaders learn how to help people who may come from broken families. During challenging times at home, a lot of people can oftentimes turn to the church for assistance. Every situation is a little bit different, and church leaders can meet these situations by learning how to remain sympathetic and empathetic, while still providing the necessary guidance to members of their congregation who may be experiencing problems.

Finally, another main topic that is likely going to be covered involves the church and technology. Unfortunately, religious groups can often have a reputation for being one of the last institutions to embrace modern technology. In order for congregations to survive today, however, they may have to be able to leverage this resource, using it to effectively communicate with their members.

Leadership Training For Church Workers

Ultimately, when people think about church staff training, this is something that can go far beyond the leaders of the group, as leadership training for church volunteers can also be essential. When it comes to leadership training for church workers, there are numerous reasons why this could prove to be important. First, it can be a good idea for church leaders to make sure that they have people in certain positions in the congregation who are able to think for themselves. That way, church leaders may be able to then free up their time to focus on larger issues.

Furthermore, with good leadership training for church workers, the church may be able to help train people to be autonomous and independent. This can be good for helping members of the group to develop problem-solving skills that might prove to be useful for them in the future. Over time, they might even rise up to occupy different leadership positions.

Finally, leadership training for church workers can go beyond staff members and leaders. Leadership training can also be a worthy undertaking for volunteers. People may be able to look at the congregation as a resource for numerous issues that can surface in life. If people realize they can turn to their local religious institution and learn how to be good leaders, then this is just one more way in which religious leaders can potentially be able to help members of the community. Therefore, it might be a good idea for congregations to consider doing everything that they can to help expand upon their current leadership training programs.

Pastoral Leadership Development

Ultimately, when looking at a ministers training manual, it can be helpful to remember that leaders can help other leaders to develop into outstanding ministers of congregations, and that this can often represent a key part of pastoral leadership development.

When people think about leaders in the church, they will usually think about the people who are leading the congregation. And while this is true, they are also leading other members of the church to consider. When someone is standing up at the front of the room, it might be important for them to remember that they are communicating not only with the people who are sitting in the pews, but with other members of the church, as well. They are setting an example for someone who very well may be leading the congregation in the future. And that is precisely why churches might want to invest in a pastoral leadership development program.

Perhaps religious leaders should think about reaching out to some of the younger members of the staff and making sure they understand what is going on, by providing members of the staff with an opportunity to develop their own leadership skills. That way, they might be able to equip themselves with everything they need in order to one day step to the front of the congregation and lead them into the future, as there will undoubtedly come a time when the leadership is going to have to rotate. With all this in mind, it can be a good idea for churches to begin taking steps to make sure that they have someone who is ready to take on this important task. By doing so, they will be going a long way towards ensuring that their congregation will be able to survive in the future.

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