Leadership is one of the most over-used and overwrought topics in Christian ministry today. Yet for all the books, blogs and conferences, there are two staggering realities we must come to grips with: First, while most churches believe they have leadership development programs, in actuality they have programs that recruit and train volunteers. A volunteer is someone who executes someone else’s vision. A leader is someone with a vision of his or her own.
In truth, there are often only a few leaders in the average church, and everyone else is simply executing their vision. It’s the “genius with a thousand helpers” paradigm Jim Collins uses to describe organizations that are good, but never become great. This is the leadership movement widely espoused in the church today.
Let’s be very clear: A volunteer pipeline is not the same thing as a pipeline that multiplies leaders. These are two different things. You need both. Currently, most churches have only one.