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Without This, Your Leadership Development Will Fail

Often when we start a new project, when we begin to develop a new program, if we are lacking a certain ingredient, if we do not have one specific emotion, the project withers and dies.

But when we possess it we will see the project through.

This is Mark Jones the host of Coaching Christian Leaders and today I will share with you that one essential ingredient you must have to move your leadership development program forward.

When we last met, you were taking your first steps in leadership development.

You determined the leadership position to develop and then you created a one-page job description for that position.

If you have not done that then take a few minutes to do so.

What is that position you wish to develop?

I am working on developing elders. Maybe you need to create youth leaders or build up your children’s staff. Maybe it’s a deacon or women’s ministry leader. Whatever, you need to identify it and then create a simple job description.

In the last episode, I encouraged you to ask yourself this question – Why does my church need this leader now? And I wanted you to link your answer to your church’s mission statement.

Here’s is what I mean by that. Our church’s mission statement is To Share Christ and Build Disciples.

So when I ask myself Why does my church need elders now? – the answer must satisfy the mission statement. I need elders now to build more disciples.

If your need does not satisfy your mission statement, then pick a different leader to develop.

If you want some additional help with these steps just grab my worksheet titled First Steps. You can find it at on the Worksheets tab.

The First Steps Worksheet covers this episode and the previous two episodes. You can use it by yourself or print multiple copies and use it with your team. Go to, open up the Worksheets tab, and grab your copy.

Five Coaching Questions

Today we are going to cultivate something essential. Very early in the creation of this leadership development program, we need this essential ingredient or the process will fail.

What is it? It is a sense of Urgency.

Why urgency?

Without urgency, there will be no lasting motivation to take this on. There will be no passion in the process. And when there is no sense of urgency there is no forward momentum.

How do create urgency? You will create urgency by answering the following coaching questions.

So grab a piece of paper and something to write with or grab the First Steps Worksheet and let’s create some urgency.

In order to create a sense of urgency, I am going to ask you five coaching questions. Take the time to honestly and fully answer each question.

I wish I was sitting across from you. When I personally coach pastors, it is questions like the following five that I ask. And pastors grow dramatically as they think and answer each question.

When I coach a pastor we explore each response and dive deep into the pastor’s situation.

Since I am working with you via a podcast I want to encourage you to answer each question fully and honestly. Bounce these questions and your answers off of a close friend or mentor. Better yet, discuss them with a key leader in your church.

Here’s question number one.

  1. Without this leader what is the current situation at your church?

Take a minute and think this through. Then write down a short paragraph that explains the current situation without this leader. You are trying to assess the impact not having this leader makes on your church.

I told you that I am working on developing some new elders. But for this question, I’ll use a different need as an example.

I need a Children’s Ministry Director, someone to pull together our different children’s ministry teams and give them focus, training, and support.

I have a Pioneer Club Director. I have someone overseeing Children’s Church. I do not have anyone overseeing Children’s Sunday school and I do not have a Children’s Ministry Director.

Without this position filled and developed the different children’s ministries never coordinate with one another. The staff that teach the kids during Sunday School, mid-week Pioneer Clubs, and Children’s Church never go to any training. And we are really dropping the ball in how we minister to kids.

So what about you? Without this leader what is the current situation at your church?

  1. What could be the situation at your church when this leadership position is filled?

Wow, what a question! Let your imagination run wild. Envision what could be if you had this position filled and functioning at its fullest potential.

Using my example of a Children’s Ministry Director, I see kids coming to Christ. I see staff connecting, coordinating, and serving at a high level. I see families growing in their faith.  I see a focused, trained, and supported children’s staff.

What could be the situation at your church when this leadership position is filled and the leader fully developed?

Here comes question number three. It’s time to dive deeper into creating a sense of urgency.

  1. Is the development of this position something that could be done or should be done?

Think about that question for a second. Is the development of this position something that could be or should be done?

What’s the difference between could and should? Could means that it can be done. It is a position that could be filled and developed. But something that should be done is something that must happen. You must fill this position. You must develop this leader. If you do not, there will be negative consequences.

Only move forward in developing this position if the answer is “should be.”

Just because you can do something is not a reason to do it.

Only move forward if your answer is “should be.”

  1. How will you feel if this leader is not developed?

I want you to tell me how it will hurt if you do not develop this leader?

A sense of urgency comes when we know something should be accomplished and when we feel the hurt if it does not come to pass.

If I do not develop a children’s ministry director, then kids and families will not grow in their faith. It is possible that kids in our community will not hear the gospel; at least from us. This greatly concerns me. And if I put names and faces to it, if I envision who it actually affects, then my heart breaks.

How will you feel if this leader is not developed?

And here is the final question.

  1. What are you willing to sacrifice to develop this leader?

This is a tough question for me to ask because often the answer is time. It takes time to identify, train, and place a leader. And time is something most pastors do not have.

If “time” is what you are willing to sacrifice, let me encourage you. The time you invest in leadership development you will receive back in spades once the leader is serving.

Maybe “time” is not the answer you came up with.

What are you willing to sacrifice to develop this leader?

As you think about the answer, compare the thing sacrificed to the potential gain once the position is developed.

You have to sow to reap.

Those are the five questions to create urgency.

I have created for you a worksheet that covers the first three episodes on Leadership Development. To get this worksheet go to Coaching Christian Leaders and click the link in the Worksheet Tab. There you can grab a copy of the First Steps Worksheet.

How Can I Help You?

These are typical coaching questions I ask my team and I ask those that I coach. When I provide personal coaching, these five questions take about an hour or more to cover.

Why does it take so long? Because when the client answers, we explore the answer and dive deep into the actual situation at their church.

Maybe that is something you need. Maybe you or your team needs some personal coaching. Email me at and let’s set something up. A few sessions of coaching can be an amazing experience. And you will get the personal touch that this podcast can’t provide.

Just email me at and let’s explore some personal or team coaching to move your ministry forward.

Thanks for listening to Coaching Christian Leaders. I will see you next week.

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