Movement Building
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4 Ways to Improve How You Select Future Ministry Leaders

flying birdIdentifying and selecting new leaders is critical for long-term ministry growth. Here’s four ways to refine the process:

1. Start a google document listing the potential leaders for your ministry at the beginning of every year. I suggest dividing them at least by male/female. You can also categorize them by readiness to lead, or some other internal value that will help you sort the list.

2. Schedule a regular time to evaluate and curate the current list. Is there someone to add or remove? Has someone on the list demonstrated an increase in attendance, motivation, understanding, vision, etc? Be sure to add notes alongside each name to continue to move the selection process along, so you do not start each meeting catching up and re-discussing things you have already decided.

3. Integrate these potential leaders into as many current events/activities as possible. When you are looking for someone to fill a role, start with this list first, not with a vague ” ‘who would be good for this?’ question.” The focus will shift from planning a cool event to strategically developing leaders by means of hosting an event. I have noticed that activities become more aligned to the mission, vision, and values of a ministry when leadership development is a priority.

4. Train your leadership team to always think about and look for signs of leadership potential when interacting with those whom they are leading. Leadership selection is not an event; it’s an ongoing, iterative process.


  1. Great post. We do 1 & 2 and it’s been one of the best things we’ve implemented.

    I really like 3&4. In our fall planning we just talked as a team about how we tend to go to the same leaders for everything and how we need to broaden our go-to list. So #3 might just be the answer to that.

    And 4 – great idea to pass it down to the student level – training them to look for signs of leadership potential. We definitely talk about it a lot with our student staff and staff team but that’s a great way to widen your “leadership recruiting team”. Any thoughts on how you would convey that to students or what signs you would tell them to look for?

    • signs seem tough for students to recognize–i’ve often encouraged student leaders to give people they think could be leaders small roles to test them out-like leading prayer for a week or two at a bible study or planning one part of a larger community building event. this usually reveals whether they just like a person or whether that person has leadership potential.

      students also tend to minimize the importance of people who are faithful–i like to ask student leaders to think about who is always there, and then out of those people who do they like for leadership.

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