I recently co-planted a church 5 months ago. It has been an incredible journey that has stretched me in my leadership. For those of you that have been a part of planting a church, you know that it requires many hats. My title is Associate Pastor, however I currently wear the hat of worship pastor, operations, creative director, small groups and serve coordinator, events, marketing, website, social media… I could go on! Looking at that list actually makes me nervously chuckle a bit.
I have had to learn very quickly that I cannot do it on my own. And to be honest, burn out would come very quickly if I tried to. Together is better! We need people around us serving in their sweet spot if we are going to effectively reach people for Jesus.
In the last 6 months, I have had to switch most of my attention to developing people. So what does development tangibly look like?
- Focus on the long term goal, not the immediate need.
Sometimes, as church leaders, we get too focused on the immediate need. “I NEED a greeter!” So we plug in joe-schmo to the greeter position when he is a total introvert and actually hates initiating conversation. This is not going to last long term and we end up with the same problem down the line. Find people who can operate in their sweet spot and they will stand the test of time.
- Focus on others, not yourself.
People matter. Developing people not only means plugging them into the right area of service, but actually caring for them. I don’t want to be the person that asks “how are you?” as a greeting. I want to genuinely mean it. “HOW ARE YOU DOING… FOR REAL?” Let’s be leaders who go further in our shepherding. We must be full of love and compassion.
- Focus on follow-up, not forgetting someone in the process.
Unfortunately, it is so easy for someone to get lost in the system. You plug them into their area and then they never hear from you again. NO NO NO! We have to be consistent in our development. This gets harder as your church gets bigger, so it is even more important to develop leaders who can in turn develop other leaders. Don’t let people get lost. Make sure you are following up and checking in.
- Focus on prayer, not control.
Prayer is powerful, people! If you are in need of someone to teach kids, play in the band, help with creative ideas or whatever, give it to God! He hears our prayers. I recently lost a consistent keys player in our band so I prayed and asked God to provide. Two weeks later, a girl introduced herself saying she wanted to audition for the band and play keyboard! Praise God for provision when we need it most.
I am still learning and God is continually stretching me in the area of development, but I know this (and I am sure you have heard this quote before)…
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” -African Proverb
Together is better. So leaders, take the time to invest in others. Your development of people will help propel your church to the next level.
ABOUT ASHLEY BECKFORD
Ashley Beckford is a worship pastor and songwriter from Southern California. Previously a member of the pastoral staff at Christ’s Church of the Valley in San Dimas where she served as the Worship Pastor for 6 years and Adult Ministries Pastor for 2 years, Ashley has recently been called to plant Unite Church in Pasadena as their Associate Pastor. A gifted leader and songwriter, she loves to develop people, especially other women in worship. Ashley recently joined the She Leads team as the ministry lead to worship and creative leaders. Ashley loves spending time with her husband, Lance, son, Declan, and dog, Oreo.Follow Ashley