Leadership Development for Dummies

by | Mar 29, 2024 | Church Leadership, Church Revitalization, Coaching

Sorry if the title is crude. No implication about anyone here. But leadership development may not be as difficult as we often make it out to be. So why not share the oversimplified version?  The dummy version.

One of the number one questions I get about leadership is how to develop new leaders within an organization. The task can often seem overwhelming. Few organizations or churches I know are viewed as experts in the field. Ours certainly isn’t.


Maybe it doesn’t have to be so complicated. Perhaps all of us can figure this out.


Leadership development begins with an underlying understanding that the success of any organization depends greatly on the leader’s willingness to delegate responsibility to others in the organization. This attitude – especially among top leadership – is vitally important to developing new leaders.

The more a leader tries to control, the less likely others will be to help him or her accomplish the vision. Of course, without people willing to follow a leader, there is no leadership development.

(For pastors who reject this idea, please read Exodus 18 or Acts 6 – or just follow Jesus through the Gospels.)

Here is my simple formula: I believe the best leadership development is accomplished by allowing others to gain experience by doing. This basically means we must find ways to allow others to lead.

In fact, delegation can be simplified into two words.






Personally spend time with and mentor others so they understand the vision of the organization and have the resources, skills, and authority to accomplish their assignment. Allow them to ask questions, to take risks, fail, and begin again.




Let people lead. Allow them to add their strengths, creativity, and energy to accomplish the vision. Give them real responsibility and authority. Don’t micromanage.

I realize this is a very simplified answer to a very complicated process, but perhaps simplifying leadership development is needed to ensure we tackle this necessary part of growing a healthy organization.

You can easily monitor whether leadership development is occurring in your church or organization with my simple model. Simply ask yourself – look around – is anyone being invested in on a regular basis?

Then, more important, is anyone being released to lead?

If you have any questions or need a model to follow, pay more attention to Jesus. It’s exactly how He did His leadership development.


Read more blog posts by Ron Edmondson

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