Leadership Training and Growth Important


When we put leaders on pedestals, like as though they’ve arrived, we’ll likely find ourselves disappointed when they fail to live up to those expectations perhaps even disillusioned and ready to quit the church. What we tend to forget is that leaders, like us, are human beings. We’re all in process.

Leaders can deceive themselves into believing they’ve arrived which makes them feel superior to others, leading to pride. That puts them in a vulnerable position as “pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Prov. 16:18). What they tend to forget is that just like everybody else, they too are in process.

The Apostle Paul, perhaps one of the greatest church leaders to live, said,

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 3:12-14)

What Leaders Mustn’t Do If They’re Going to Stay in Process

From Philippians 3:12-14, we can learn as much from what Paul did not do as from what he did do. He …

did not think too highly of himself. (“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect”, “I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it”)

did not rest on past accomplishments. (“forgetting what is behind”)

did not coast through his leadership efforts. (“I press on”, “straining toward”)

did not function with a narrow perspective. (“press on toward the goal”)

Leaders Must Continue Training and Growing to Stay in Process

The Apostle Paul acknowledged that he had so much more to learn and grow for he didn’t use a mere human or worldly standard of leadership. Rather, he said he wanted to “press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me”. That’s a standard of Christlikeness to which we will never attain but we can keep growing and advancing toward it.

Elsewhere Paul referred to the Christian life as a race. He said, “Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. ” (1 Cor. 9:24). Strict training is intentional and continual. Runners can’t stop training, thinking they’ve arrived, and expect to win. Perhaps Paul had this in mind when he said, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14). That’s a goal with an eternal prize which we won’t fully realize until eternity. It’s therefore a goal that requires perseverance (Heb. 12:1), “straining toward what is ahead” (Phil. 3:13).

Are you a church or ministry leader who realizes that you have not yet arrived? Check out the site, TrainChurchLeaders.com, developed by Ministry Tools Resource Center, for church leaders wanting to stay in process.Leadership Training at TrainChurchLeaders.com


Starting Point for Training Ministry Leaders


Someone commented on a previous post about ministry training that they want to train leaders but find it overwhelming on where to start. Though training should be tailored to specific needs in one’s church or ministry, the response given to this comment may prove helpful to all. It suggests a starting point for training ministry leaders applicable to all of us wherever we’re located, whatever the size or makeup of our church or ministry, and whoever the leaders might be.

Make the Big Picture the Starting Point for Training Ministry Leaders

While we should provide training specific to the ministry leader’s area of oversight, it can be helpful to first provide the framework on which to hang the particulars. The big picture lays the foundation for what we do. Here are two factors that should infiltrate and guide all we do as leaders.

1) Our Purpose

Individual ministries will have specific purposes for which they exist which must be understood. But, God provides an overarching purpose that applies to all ministries — to love God with all of who we are and to love people (Matt. 22:37-40). Our purpose to love is so important that no matter how spectacular our ministry might seem, we gain nothing without love (1 Cor. 13:1-3).

The following links will take you to resources for a group of up to twenty-five so you can provide training for all ministry leaders at a greatly reduced cost. They are also available for a single copy.

A Starting Point for Training Ministry Leaders Might Include Our Big Picture Purpose

2) Our Standard

Of utmost importance, is that we learn to do ministry God’s way. He is our Standard. The Word provides overriding principles that should be applied in whatever capacity we might serve. These are principles leaders should apply in their leadership but also should encourage both paid and volunteer staff to pursue.

Resource: Key Elements to Doing Ministry God’s Way

These two factors are important for leaders to effectively oversee their own areas but also to pursue a coordinated effort among all leaders so the whole Church heads in these directions.

Also Provide a Broad Look at Biblical Leadership

Who does God tend to call into leadership positions? How do our spiritual gifts affect the way we lead? How do the basics of our life in Christ affect the way we lead? What challenges might we face? How might we as leaders affect the church’s culture? How do we measure ministry success?


Then Help with Training Related to Specific Areas of Oversight

Once again it might be helpful to begin with the big picture for that particular area of ministry. What are some of the specific tasks and needs? Where should the focus be? What is the potential?

Check out the Ministry Manuals Related to the Following Ministry Areas:

Christian Education
Nuts & Bolts, Serving Types of Ministries
People Helping Ministries
Prayer Ministry

If it seems too overwhelming to provide training for all the different ministry areas, start with the greatest areas of need. As you are able, provide training for other areas. Sometimes you just need to start small and build on that.

Leadership Training Also Needs to be Tailored to One’s Setting and Leaders’ Needs

At some point, you would need to provide training that would be tailored to your specific ministries and leaders’ needs. However, beginning with the big picture, as well as a broad understanding of biblical leadership and specific ministries, often gives leaders sufficient foundation upon which to build and head in the right direction. During that kind of training, specific needs tend to surface, making the next step or direction for further training obvious.

If you’re interested in developing future leaders, go to: Developing Future Church Leaders: The Training Process


Effective Ministry Training


Who doesn’t want effective ministry training? But, imagine if it became more e-e-e-e-e-effective.

When training is most effective, people are equipped and encouraged to do their part. As God’s ways for ministry are explained to them their understanding is expanded, their hearts are enlightened, and they are able to envision what God can and wants to do through them. Hence, their life of service is enhanced. As a result, they become more excited and enthused about serving. They are energized and emboldened to do their part.

When training is e-e-e-e-e-effective, a lot happens within the people being trained that will spill over onto those to whom and with whom they serve.

So, What is Effective Ministry Training?

Effective Ministry Training Help People Seek to Di Ministry God's Way
(Click image to learn more about this resource.)

For ministry training to truly be effective it must help people seek to line ministry up with the character and ways of a holy, righteous, loving, gracious, just, sovereign, merciful, all-powerful, creative, faithful, and wise God.

He is the authority. — He knows the best way to do ministry.

He is the source. — He provides what we need to do ministry.

He is the standard. — He sets the bar for how to do ministry.

How e-e-e-e-effectively are you training people in your church? How e-e-e-e-effectively have you been trained? The wonderful thing about our God is that He is also a God of new beginnings! Start now to train people to do ministry God’s way.

For Help: Ministry Training Resources


Train Small Group Leaders


Due to the potential of life change that can come through small groups, it’s always been important to have leaders who are trained, not only to facilitate discussion, but also to shepherd members of their group. Take some time to examine what you’re doing to train small group leaders in your church. What kind of training do you provide? How encompassing is your support and encouragement?

Train Small Group Leaders to Meet the Challenges of the Days in Which We Live

Small groups form for various reasons and so training always needs to be specific to the focus and primary agenda for their meeting. But, in addition, training needs to prepare small group leaders for challenges relevant to the days in which we live.

  1. Since a question for small groups may no longer be about the “place” where they should meet but rather the online “platform” they should use, additional training may be required.

Some groups may meet online temporarily with others meeting that way for the long haul. Some may use a combination of online and in-person. Small group leaders need to be effectively trained to not only know how to use technology but also how to use it in ways that are safe and productive for their small group.

You’ll first need to determine the best platform for your small group needs (based on number of participants, length of meeting time, cost, group member’s ability to access it, etc.). Some common platforms include:

Church Online Platform
Google Meet (was Google Duo)
Google Chat (was Google Hangouts)
Microsoft Teams

Also be sure to train small group leaders about the differences of leading a group online versus in-person. Here are some articles on other sites that can be of help:

  1. Though support groups used to be the main type of group for helping people work through addictions and mental health issues, more and more people are experiencing anxiety and depression today. Almost any type of group will consist of people with these kinds of needs more and more. Are your small group leaders prepared?

Small group leaders need to be trained on how to respond both within the group meeting and one-on-one. How can they and the group be a support system to one another? When is it time to guide the person in finding help outside of the group?

As relates to the days in which we live, perhaps providing leaders with coping skills suggestions to pass on would be helpful. Also remember that leaders too need support and comfort. Here are some articles on other sites that may be of help:

Maybe a study on dealing with anxiety and depression would be beneficial. The following links will take you to one of our affiliate stores:

If meeting online, people may find it easy to hide their feelings behind the screen. Small group leaders need to learn how to observe, connect, and engage with people in ways that get below the surface.


Training Begins with Leadership


We ask others to participate ministry training but so often as leaders fail to avail ourselves of sufficient training opportunities. Yet, we too need to keep growing. Whether in our walk with God, or ministries, we need to believe the words of the Apostle Paul about ourselves:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. (Phil. 3:12)

How can we help others keep growing if we’ve stopped growing? Jesus said, “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master” (Matt. 10:24). Someone who stops growing soon has little to offer those he/she leads.

Personal Training Needed But Also Training Together as a Leadership Team

While some of our training as leaders will happen on a personal level, some should also be done together with our leadership team. That could include attending a leadership conference together, reading and discussing a book, watching a video presentation, along with other possibilities. It could also include a brief training segment at regular staff or board meetings.

Leadership needs to be on the same page regarding the ultimate purpose and basic philosophy of ministry and how best to implement that approach in their ministries. This takes coming together to learn and grow as a ministry team. When leaders each have their own agendas and don’t come under a broad umbrella, it can be confusing for the remainder of the Body if there’s a discrepancy between what they’re learning and seeing around them.

Training that Begins with Leadership Sets an Example for Others

Success in convincing others of the importance for ministry training will likely increase the more they see a hunger for continued growth in their leaders. Whether attending training events, reading books, or online training, let people see and hear your excitement in learning something new or being reminded of key truths.

  • Request prayer for your leadership team when engaging in training.
  • Take time to share short snippets of what you’ve learned from the pulpit, in staff meetings, on social media, newsletters, or one-on-one with others.
  • Pass on links to online articles, titles of books, etc., prefacing it with how you learned from it and thought it might be helpful to them.

For Leadership to Share Training at Ministry Tools Resource Center


If you’ve learned from the Ministry Tools Resource Center, you can pass it on using the tools at this link: Helps for Informing Others

Bottom line: To learn from your example, people need to be aware of what you do. They won’t know if you don’t share it in some way.

For Some Leadership Training:

Leadership Section on MinTools.com
Additional Resource for Church Leaders


Ministry Training: An Effective Plan


Ministry Training - EquippingEffective ministry training lines up with:

God’s equipping plan
God’s equipping objectives

If you haven’t read the above posts, be sure to click on the links and read them as these tips grow out of those truths.

Tips for an Effective Ministry Training Plan

1) Begin by helping people identify their best fit in ministry and then providing opportunities for them to fan into flame the spiritual gifts God has given them so people are effectively doing the part God has given them.

2) Provide training opportunities for everyone regardless of how/where they serve and previous experience, training, or background.

3) Develop a comprehensive approach to ministry training which includes pre-service, in-service, and post-service efforts.

4) Seek to line up with character and ways of God, using Him as the standard against which you define and measure ministry.

5) Use God’s Word as the foundation and filter through which all training content is determined.

6) Emphasize reliance on God’s provisions and power for ministry, that the training opportunities you provide aren’t sufficient in themselves to make people truly effective.

Resources to Help: Ministry Training Resources