Do you have a leadership pipeline?

Do you have a leadership pipeline?

Not too long ago I was asked to recommend a book to help churches design a leadership pipeline. A “leadership pipeline” is a leadership development process that helps local churches establish, grow and reproduce leaders. At that point in time, when I searched my mental files, I came up short. Today, I can answer that question with a resounding “yes”.

“The Leadership Difference”, by Robert Logan, offers principles for the leader who’s vision is to develop other leaders. Reflection questions with related resources enable reproducing leaders to create their unique development process.

When discussing leadership development with other leaders, I’ve discovered the lines between discipleship and leadership are often blurry. In fact, some would argue, discipleship = leadership development. There is some truth to that statement. Logan makes the case and captures the essence of that dynamic; the relationship is one of interdependence:

Discipleship is the often less visible but absolutely essential foundation upon which leadership must rest. Without it, everything else collapses (p.19)

But there are also differences. The author makes a clear distinction between Discipleship Competencies and Leadership Competencies:

Discipleship Competencies:

  • Experiencing God
  • Spiritual Responsiveness
  • Sacrificial Service
  • Generous Living
  • Disciplemaking
  • Personal Transformation
  • Authentic Relationships
  • Community Transformation (p.21)

Leadership Competencies:

  • Personal Development
  • Developing Leaders
  • Leading Teams
  • Organizational Development
  • Communication Skills
  • Pastoral Skills (p.26-27)

This alone is worth the price of the book. A more complete list is presented in Appendix A and B. Clarifying the two creates a clear distinction. This allows a leader to design her/his own leadership pipeline, with the end in mind.

Logan is one of the leading thinkers in church planting and leader development today. His extensive experience as a coach, consultant and trainer in 30+ countries, spans four decades and gives him a broad base from which to draw. Logan is constantly asking God: “What’s next for the church to grow and reproduce healthy disciples and leaders?”

I highly recommend “The Leadership Difference” when you are being asked to build a leadership pipeline in the church or ministry you serve.

Two weeks before we launch the Discipleship Collective

Two weeks before we launch the Discipleship Collective

In case you missed the Disciplemaking Collective Overview and would like the view it – click here.

Two weeks from today we launch the Disciple Collective on Monday, April 2 @ 3:30pm PST, 6:30pm EST.  The Collective is designed for a pastor, church planter or lay person who is serious about making disciples but could use a more comprehensive approach combined with the relational support of a coach.  If you have someone in your team, congregation and/or network that fits this description, please forward this blog to them:

Three qualities of a Disciplemaking Collective participant:

  1. Hungry – engaged in the Harvest.
  2. Humble – eager to learn.
  3. Smart – emotionally aware.

These qualities were identified in The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni; and provide a helpful description of who would make a good candidate for the Disciplemaking Collective.

How is coaching different?

How is coaching different?

Leaders want to know what is different about coaching.

I was asked this question recently and I gave my standard answers – click here.  I like the illustration of wearing hats. When I am using a coach approach I have my “coaching hat” on. But when the focus shifts to another approach like counselor, adviser, teacher or mentor; I should be aware the leader may not see the shift they are asking me to make OR, that they may need help finding the assistance they really need OR, explain that I am willing to switch my “coaching” hat for some other hat.

The clearer we can be, the more confident people become when the shift occurs during a conversation. This is especially helpful when using a coach approach in disciplemaking and church planting/multiplication to avoid confusion, for the coach and the person being coached. I found the chart illustrated in Sending Well: A Field Guide to Great Church Planter Coaching by Dino Sinesi – to be extremely helpful to make the distinctions between coaching and other people-helping approaches. He breaks down the different roles in three categories: Function, Key Word & Scripture.

Here are the Roles with the Function and Key Word describing the outcome each role provides:

  • Counselor: ER DoctorRelief
  • Advisor: Auto MechanicSolutions
  • Teacher: LibrarianInformation
  • Mentor: Personal TrainerImitation
  • Coach: Taxi DriverService

Reflect on these for a moment.

Below are three questions to help you clarify what approach is needed, and if you need to change your “coaching hat”…

  1. What kind of assistance is the leader/team asking for in this moment?
  2. Are you the best person to provide that type of help?
  3. If not, how can you help them find it?
Guiding Disciplemaking Coaches to Ride the Rails

Guiding Disciplemaking Coaches to Ride the Rails

Developing followers of Christ is like two rails of a train track. First, disciplemaking is the strategic side of helping a person follow Jesus. Second, coaching is the relational side of helping a person follow Jesus.

Coaching has evolved from an intuitive activity to a science. Discipleship sits in a similar continuum with “organic” and “programmic” approaches to spiritual strategy offering different perspectives on relational development. Combining effective coaching with a sound approach to discipleship often yields amazing results, with many individuals guided by this philosophy ultimately developing into followers of Jesus.

After listening to many leaders over the course of my career, I have discovered that coaching and disciplemaking perfectly complement one another.

What does it take to become a Disciplemaking Coach?

Listening to the Holy Spirit and asking powerful, thought provoking questions is central to the Disciplemaking Coach. 

Here are two rails the Disciplemaking Coach rides:

1. The Developmental Rail

The Disciplemaking Rail using the Storyboard  – the developmental path a person navigates on the discipleship journey.

2. The Coaching Rail

The Coaching Rail using the 5Rs – the path a coach travels as they interact with a disciple(s).

Recently, my family and I were sharing a meal with some new friends. The question of spirituality came up. My natural urge to offer my perspectives was managed by my more powerful desire to help these new friends take the next step on their spiritual pilgrimage to Jesus. Instead of sharing my nuggets of gold, I listened and asked questions. By allowing our friends space to discover the truth of Jesus for themselves, the conversation resulted in an invitation to another meal, where we will continue to explore the questions that matter most.

The Disciplemaking Collective is designed to give attention to both rails by providing:

1. Real-time learning to help you navigate the developmental path a person travels on their discipleship journey

2. Coach-skill development based on a Online Coach Assessment you administer with at least one disciple you have coached in the past.

Save the date! Please block-out 55 minutes on March 5 @ 2:30pm PST/5:30pm EST in your calendars for this important informational webinar to learn more about the Disciplemaking Collective. 

Thank you for your commitment to make more & better disciples; by creating the healthiest church environments possible.

Coach the Leader; Not the Problem!

Coach the Leader; Not the Problem!

A book that I have enjoyed reading titled, Canoeing the Mountains by Tod Bolsinger discusses change management. To illustrate this point Bolsinger uses the historical account of the Lewis & Clark expedition as a backdrop for church ministry and the reality for leaders to navigate in “uncharted territory”.

The author introduces Adaptive Leadership:

“… NOT ABOUT FINDING THE BEST-KNOWN OR MOST-AVAILABLE FIX TO A PROBLEM, BUT INSTEAD ADAPTING TO THE CHANGING ENVIRONMENT OR CIRCUMSTANCES SO THAT NEW POSSIBILITIES ARISE FOR ACCURATELY SEEING, UNDERSTANDING AND FACING CHALLENGES WITH NEW ACTIONS.” 

Leadership on the Line – Staying Alive through the Dangers of Leading by Ronald Heifetz & Marty Linsky

The point I take from this explanation as it relates to coaching, is simple: “coach the person, not the problem”. There is a tendency to focus on solving a problem when you coach a leader. However, the true value you bring as a coach to a leader it to help increase the leader’s awareness e.g. “ACCURATELY SEEING, UNDERSTANDING AND FACING CHALLENGES WITH NEW ACTIONS.”

He unpacks three aspects of Adaptive Leadership that will serve you well as you coach leaders to navigate change and help leader transform their capacity to lead well, in that process. Here are the three areas with a key reflection question, that I’ve included, for you to drill down in each area: 

1. Technical Competence:

Key question: What ministry skills does the pastor or planter need to develop in this season?

2. Relational Congruence:

Key question: How can this leader raise their emotional intelligence effectiveness to engage relationally?

3. Adaptive Capacity:

Key question: What aspects of change management must this leader need to pay attention to in this season?

A lot of important work has been done in the area of change management. Canoeing the Mountains does an excellent job defining adaptive leadership and narrowing the focus on the leader’s transformation.

Collectives 2018:

As we approach the end of the year, check out the Collectives for 2018 and consider which opportunity fits your needs. Collectives are not just for anyone. Collectives are for movement makers. Collectives are designed exclusively for catalytic leaders.

According to Merriam-Webster: a catalyst is an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action”

Collectives will help a leader:

  • who is on the verge of a breakthrough
  • stuck in their development
  • unable to keep up with the growth, expansion & reproduction of the ministries they are launching

Reflection Questions:

Who do you know that is on the forefront of catalyzing a disciple-making movement?

Who do you know that is catalyzing a church multiplication movement?.

 

What is a level 5 leader?

What is a level 5 leader?

The best reason I suggest you to participate in a Collective, is not:

  • the power of coaching
  • the power of a focused learning communities.

No, the best reason that I would give is the profound impact God has made through the ministries of my co-presenters who are multiplying leaders (read Multiply).

Church Multiplication Collective

  • Tim Vink – Level 4-5 leader
    • Stewarded the Reformed Church of America movement from 3% to 14% of churches reproducing since 2005.

Disciple-Making Collective

  • Daniel B – missionary that has catalyzed 400+ Discovery Bible studies with his team
    • Has helped train over 500 church planters in disciple-making strategies worldwide.

Allowing leaders to focus on a shared issue within a group of like-minded individuals, combines the power of one-on-one coaching with the strength of a learning community.

If you have not yet registered yet I would like to encourage you to seriously consider taking that next step. Registration ends November 10, 2017 for this round of Collectives. Below is the schedule with times listed in the links below:  

  • Session #1: Nov 13, 2017
  • Session #2: Dec 4, 2017
  • Session #3: Jan 9, 2018
  • Session #4: Feb 5, 20178

Please e-mail InFocus if you have specific questions about taking the next step to register.

See Church Multiplication Collective to register.

See Disciple-Making Collective to register.