It is never too early to start developing leaders in your church plant. Of course leadership development may look quite a bit different when assembling a core/launch team as opposed to years 4-5 and this is completely natural. Most leadership development early in the church planting process will be largely done by the Lead Church Planter personally as you intentionally pour your life into a current or future leader on your core team. While leadership development in a church plant does evolve it is critical to pray intentionally and think deeply (and out loud with fellow leaders in your core team often) about why and how you should develop leaders.
Here are a couple of leadership questions to thoughtfully consider as a church planter.
1. Core Conviction: What is leadership?
Developing a working definition for “leadership” is essential.
At the church I planted and presently lead (HighView Church) we developed the following definition for leadership:
Leadership is Christ-like service through intentional, God-glorifying influence.
This core conviction about God’s design for leadership will actually be one of the most powerful forces driving your disciple-making efforts in your church plant. Pray regularly, discuss openly and think deeply about what leadership actually is before you put a plan in place to establish it in your church.
2. Core Competencies: What type of leaders do we want to develop?
Discuss with your core team what a discipled/developed leader looks like?
At HighView we have 6 core competencies that we want to equip our church with. From a broader, ministry philosophy standpoint this will help you shape the discipleship strategy of the church as a whole while also laying foundational elements of your leadership development strategy. Our church has taken this cohesive, streamlined approach to discipleship and since we see leadership development as a subset of discipleship, this strong alignment focus has helped us tremendously.