08 July 2014
8 ways your church can develop public leaders
Eight ways your church can develop public leaders
Public leaders work for good and God in the places they live and work. They take responsibility for where God has put them and realise that leadership is vital.
Take Michelle Swallow, a CAP debt centre manager from Bradford, her care for the local community led her to practical action, and then to political leadership, standing for the local council, winning and taking further responsibility for the good of her neighbourhood.
Churches are vital for the development and sustainability of public leaders. To make the most of their roles in public life, a church which provides support and encouragement is essential. Here are eight things churches can do to help:
- Provide space for people to share testimonies of what God has done in their community or workplace. This way the wider church can hear about, and pray for, the opportunities and challenges members of their congregation face.
- Understand the need for public leaders, and preach on the role Christians can play in transforming society. This can be a helpful prompt for people who may feel called to public leadership to come forward and it enables them to be seen, prayed for and better supported.
- Take time to consider who in your congregation may already be public leaders and work with them to see how they can be best supported. This may require releasing them from responsibilities within the church in order to have the biggest impact outside the church.
- Enable people in similar sectors or areas of work to connect with each other and support each other. This provides a different pastoral context than traditional small groups and one which may be able to better understand and help address the challenges and opportunities public leaders face.
- Link established public leaders with emerging public leaders for mentoring and accountability. Leading in public life can often be challenging and detached from the life of the church, by linking leaders together and giving examples of people already taking responsibility churches can facilitate an essential support.
- Identify the needs of your local community. Spend time together to pray for the community and seek out the places where leadership is most needed. From this starting point the church can see the things and places that need to change, and hear from God as to where he might be calling people. The church can then support people to take leadership in these areas.
- Work together with other churches in the area to encourage and support public leaders. Often public leaders will work across different sectors and there may not be others in a similar situation within one congregation. By working with other churches networks of support can be strengthened and the impact of Christians on public life increased. This also prevents duplication and it helps churches focus their resources.
- Invite the Evangelical Alliance to run a public leadership training day with your church and other local churches. Training can be provided on identifying public leaders, understanding why it's such a vital need for the Church, and how leaders can start having an impact on public life by taking simple but intentional steps.
Read more about how your church can become a public leader friendly church.