One thing I seldom emphasize in leadership training is personal spiritual growth. I don’t spend a lot of time with the key players of our church talking about topics such as prayer, Bible reading, sanctification, serving, stewardship, or other matters related to spiritual growth.
That surprises a lot of people. In fact, one former staff member used to gag on that.
But I have my reasons. To begin with, if you are invited to a leadership meeting with me it is because you have already proven yourself to be spiritually mature; that’s a requirement for selection, and I'm assuming you are already doing those things. Not that any of us has arrived spiritually or become finished theologians, but those selected for church leadership have additional things to learn.
The last thing that some people need is another Bible study or devotional pep talk. They get plenty of that from our Sunday messages, small groups, or their own devotional life. What they need is KNOWLEDGE and UNDERSTANDING of the LOCAL CHURCH – how it works, what causes it to grow, and how to keep it healthy. Potential church leaders don’t need me to help them go deeper in God – the thing they need most is instruction on how to do the job God has called them to do!
That doesn’t mean that I consider spiritual growth to be unimportant. I don’t. It’s vital, particularly for leaders. All I’m saying is that knowing how to lead is a rather important skill set for a leader to possess, and it should not be neglected or left to chance.
If I have a limited amount of time to spend with church leaders - i.e., those who are already showing signs of spiritual maturity - I’m going to spend my time sharing with them the things they need most, not what they need least. Most likely, we will not be talking about the scapegoat from the book of Leviticus or the priestly garments of Aaron. Instead, we’ll probably be talking about vision, planning, goals, strategies, budget allocations, and church discipline; nuts-and-bolts kind of stuff.
In fact, this kind of training actually leads to more spiritual growth. If the selection process is handled properly – choosing the right people to begin with - then their serving in a leadership capacity will actually cause their spiritual life to flourish, not wane.