No Leaders Left Behind
If the Church is to reach the world, we are going to need thousands of new churches. In the United States alone, reports suggest that we will need 2500-3000 new churches a year to keep up with population growth.
This creates a resulting need for thousands of new leaders who can lead these churches and the ministries that serve them. But, are we limiting our leadership search to a small leadership pool? With the demand for new leaders so clear, can we afford to leave any leaders behind?
Typically, the approach is to look for seminary graduates and those with high leadership experience and high ministerial training.
What Saddleback Church has realized is that this approach limits the potential pool of leadership talent.
What about all the rest? Could not effective church and ministry leaders be found in these other pools?
We are ignoring sea of potential leaders, who, with the right training, mentoring, and experiences, could be developed into strong ministry leaders.
With such a high need for future leaders, we cannot afford to ignore this vast pool of potential leaders.
With this in mind, Saddleback Church created the Saddleback Church Leadership Academy to reach out to those with a calling, heart, and potential to lead ministries and churches. Their goal is to expand the potential pool of leadership talent by creating unique leadership development paths that equip, encourage, and mentor these future leaders.
Their method is to provide an opportunity for participants to engage and learn in the context of “doing the work”, not more classes. Tacit learning in context.
So many future church and ministry leaders have a mistaken perception that they are not qualified for ministry and do not pursue their calling. But this is a mistaken perception and one that is limiting the potential pool of future leaders to those who attended certain colleges, received degrees in certain majors, or who have been working in ministry.
By expanding the view of who has the potential to become a church planter or ministry leader, what Saddleback Church has found is that students of all majors and degrees bring unique leadership skills, insight, energy, and knowledge that is invaluable to ministries and churches.
For instance, current Leadership Academy participants have backgrounds or majors in:
It’s not about having a certain degree or even graduating from a certain college. It’s about calling.
Future leaders need a calling to lead a ministry at an existing church, plant a church, or a new campus of an existing church.
If one wants to learn how to lead a church or a ministry, the best way to accomplish that is to be in residency or as an apprentice with current church or ministry leaders. Learning in context and in community with other learners.
Over the course of a year, using a “gradual release” method, “Leadership-Mentor Faculty” walk alongside residents and apprentices; gradually releasing them to greater leadership roles, responsibilities, and opportunities. Embedded in this experience is a weekly gathering where students get "nuts-and-bolts" strategies, methods, and systems instruction.
While not discounting the role of seminary, in fact they encourage it, they don’t see it as a pre-requisite to leadership. The goal is to open the opportunity to become a church or ministry leader to a greater pool of potential leaders to meet the leadership needs for thousands of new churches.
Some recent lifewayresearch.com seems to support the view that experience is viewed as more important than seminary education in hiring decisions of churches.
The Saddleback Church Leadership Academy believes they can harness the gifts, talents, and abilities of these future leaders through a very intentional and practical “hands-on” ministry leader apprenticeship experience.
Their apprenticeship utilizes a “Leading-Learning-Mentoring” paradigm.
- Developing leadership skills while learning to lead one of Saddleback Church’s ministries.
- Learning methods and strategies directly from Saddleback pastors and staff while “doing the work.”
- Mentoring by Saddleback pastors.
- Avenue and opportunities to get hands-on ministry leadership training and development in context.
- Blending their explicit learning with contextual tacit learning.
- Growing in a community of fellow future leaders.
The Saddleback Church Leadership Academy seeks to equip, empower, and encourage individuals to pursue their ministry leadership calling.
The Saddleback Church Leadership Academy believes that when people combine their education, experience, and God given potential with the practicum and mentoring that their ACCELERATE Ministry Leadership Apprenticeship or ELEVATE Church Planter/Multi-Site Residency provides, they will be uniquely equipped and empowered to take on leadership roles as church planters, multi-site campus leaders, or ministry leaders.
The Saddleback Church Leadership Academy intends to...Leave No Leaders Behind.