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How to Start a Leadership Pipeline at Your Church

How to Start a Leadership Pipeline at Your Church
  • Name
    Beth Colletti
Thanks so much for joining us for this week’s unSeminary podcast. We have Kevin Lloyd, executive pastor at Stevens Creek Church in Augusta, Georgia, with us today. Stevens Creek is 30 years old this year and has two campuses with 2,500 people. It’s a church that is focused on connecting with people who are not used to church. The messages are really relational, with a vibe communicating that people matter. Kevin is with us today to talk about how Stevens Creek has worked to develop leaders within the church. Combine leadership and discipleship. Stevens Creek Church has created a system that marries discipleship and leadership. As Kevin points out, those two parts are often separated, which makes it difficult for people to be discipled and become leaders. This is the first step in developing leaders at Stevens Creek, and there is a class every other Sunday called “The Next Step” that is the only way to become connected at the church. If someone wants to lead a group or create a new group, they must attend this class. If someone wants to serve on a team, they have to attend the class. The constant question at Stevens Creek is, “What’s your next step?” This class helps guide all individuals, regardless of their spiritual maturity, toward growth as they serve and live out their faith. Take the next step. The staff at the Next Step class takes a survey every so often to see who in the class has been at the church a while and has taken a step to become involved. The sweet spot seems to be six weeks, which gives people a good opportunity to decide if they are ready to move on and get connected to the church and others on more than a surface level. After taking the class at Stevens Creek, the next step is to join a small group and/or a serving team. At the end of the class, the small group volunteers are brought in to share who they are and tell a bit about their group. Individuals taking the class can then connect with these leaders to ask any questions they may have, or go on a tour of that group. It’s at this time that a “First Serve” is also scheduled for those looking to join a team. There is a member of each volunteer team that is focused on working directly with these people serving for the first time. Volunteer to work within the ministry. After a First Serve experience, the next step is to become a part of a team as a volunteer. This area focuses on giving people a place to belong, no matter where they are in their walk with Christ. During this step of the process, the person is observed by the leadership team to determine how they are growing and where they fit into the team. If someone shows a little bit of leadership potential, the staff will approach that person and offer them the chance to move on to the next step of becoming a leader on that team. Develop leaders with further teaching. The Launch class is attended by those who have been invited to learn more about leadership. It is invite-only and these classes take place about four times a year. The Launch class is focused on the leadership covenant and what self-leadership looks like from a faith perspective. From that moment on, every leader is trained on five skills: self-leadership, communication, people skills, conflict management and how to communicate vision. Some of it is done classroom style and some on teams, but most is done individually. Individuals are immediately taught to guard the unity of the church and the perception of leadership in the church. They must understand that when people see them, they see Jesus. Develop skills within leaders. The next step for those who show more skill and leadership is further development of those skills. First they are approached to become a team leader of a smaller group, perhaps five to 10 people. Team leaders do all the scheduling, run the huddles and other services. From there, they can become a ministry team coordinator, who leads the overall system for the team. And then the leader can become a director. That person is really pastoring the team. At every level, the church is training on those five skills taught in the Launch class, but it drives deeper into understanding these skills and using them in service. You can learn more about leadership at, which includes resources to develop leadership skills. You can also connect with Stevens Creek at their website

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Lightning Round

Helpful Tech Tools // Zoom, RightNow Media Ministries Following // Guinnett Church in Georgia, Redrocks Church in Colorado Influential Book // Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy by Alli Worthington; Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It…and Why the Rest Don’t by Verne Harnish Inspiring Leader // George W. Bush What does he do for fun // Anything adventurous; surfing, rockclimbing, skiing Contact // This article originally appeared here.