Church Leadership Pipelines - 8 Reasons Why You Need One

No church can effectively accomplish all God intends if only a handful of people are leading the way.

No church will get where it wants to go if the leaders it has are worn out and have lost their desire to grow and mature as leaders.

Can I get an Amen, pastor?

If you are overwhelmed by all the work you have to do, stressed because there aren’t enough people involved in the work of the church, or frustrated by your staff, elders, deacons, and ministry teams, we should talk.

church leadership pipeline

I totally know the feeling.

Several years ago, our church started to grow. A lot. Dozens of new people every week. We had to add a gathering. For those of us in leadership, it was one of those seasons where everything clicked.

Until it stopped clicking. The number of visitors went from a torrential downpour to a soft drizzle. We eventually canceled the additional gathering. Almost as quickly as we experienced rapid growth, our numbers came crashing back down to earth.

I can remember sitting with our elders trying to sort through what happened. Did we say something wrong? No. Was this God’s judgment on some hidden dungeon of sin? Not that we could tell. So the elders sent me off to think and pray and pretty much do whatever I needed to do to discover what in the world happened.

You Need A Church Leadership Pipeline

I’ll skip the details of that six-month research project, but I’ll share with you what I found out. When it was all said and done, we needed a church leadership pipeline. And if you are a pastor or church leader who feels stuck, stressed, frustrated, confused or just slap worn out by the demands of leading your church, here are eight reasons why you need a leadership pipeline in your church:

  1. You want your church to grow. Whether you want deeper roots or more fruit in your church, healthy things grow. A church leadership pipeline provides a framework for your church to grow.
  2. You don’t have enough of the right kind of church leadership. You need more volunteers. You want your team leaders, deacons, staff, elders to improve and mature. A leadership pipeline adds more leaders in your church and makes current leaders better.
  3. You can’t keep up. The pace of your life is becoming increasingly unmanageable. Important things like sermon preparation and caring for people is falling by the wayside. A church leadership pipeline builds a team around you so you can focus on work that matters most.
  4. You need a simple and sustainable system. Every church develops leaders. But most of our leadership development systems collapse under the weight of trying to do too much. A leadership pipeline makes recruiting, training, and evaluating church leaders consistent and attainable.
  5. Church leaders need a place to serve. Anyone who takes the initiative to help other people is a leader. That means your church is filled with leaders. A church leadership pipeline gives every leader a very real opportunity to serve and to be served.
  6. Leaders should consistently improve. No leader arrives fully formed and completely mature. Everyone should expect every leader’s skills, character, and knowledge to grow. A church leadership pipeline clearly identifies what growth should look like and provide a path for that development to take place.
  7. Leaders need to be prepared for new roles and responsibilities. Most churches invite people to lead and expect them to know what to do. This leads to stressed out leaders and underperforming teams. A church leadership pipeline intentionally helps leaders transition well into new roles and responsibilities. 
  8. You’re tired of guessing at developing church leaders. You’ve read books, been to conferences, watched videos - you have a lifetime of ideas about what it takes to develop leaders. But all of those other opportunities have left your wheels spinning. A leadership pipeline gives you traction to add more leaders, build up existing leaders and create space for everyone to do their best work.

Does Your Church Have A Leadership Pipeline?

Probably not. Less than 5% of churches in the United States have this simple and sustainable leadership development system. But there's no reason that can't change for you and your church.

If you don’t have a church leadership pipeline, I’d like to help you get started.

I’ve put together a simple explanation of a leadership pipeline for churches called (wait for it!), ‘What Is A Leadership Pipeline.' After you read it, you’ll know the three things you need to build a pipeline, and I’ll give you three action steps to help you get started. You can download it for FREE by clicking here

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