6 Scalable Leadership Development Principles for Multisite Churches

Systematized leadership development is a phrase that’s uncomfortable for most leaders I’ve talked with. To them, leadership development is highly personal and requires discernment. Systematizing something often sounds like de-humanizing it.

That’s not what I’m advocating for. I believe that leadership development should be well-defined in every church, but especially in multisite churches where the senior leaders are further removed from lower level staff and volunteer leaders.

What does systemized leadership development look like? If you move in this direction, you’ll find that effective systems around leadership development look something like this:

  1. Form a clear leadership pipeline.
  2. Schedule periodic leadership evaluations (apart from performance evaluations).
  3. Establish a standard base-line for leadership advancement (whether that’s participation in self-development courses or performance indicators or based on 360 reviews or something else).
  4. Intentionally create gaps for leaders to fill (leadership development is difficult without creating the space for leaders to grow into).
  5. Be disciplined to release responsibility down-chain at every level of leadership.
  6. Be a stickler about accountability for those not meeting leadership development expectations.

Multisite churches must move to scalable systems in every area that can be done without sacrificing biblical stewardship of the role of pastors. That includes volunteer training and leadership development.