Where are your best leaders and what are you doing with them?
I do a lot of work with leaders to help them think about their work and how they do it. Often that work includes dealing with a lack of leadership and wishing for more and better leaders.
This work is often left to situational engagement. By that I mean that congregations think about new board/council members the month before the congregational meeting to elect them. Judicatory staff do the same thing in their work. We do too little leadership work in an ongoing way and then try to figure out how to plug the gaps when the calendar or constitution simply says, “It’s time to pick new leaders!” Ugh!
So here is a simple practice that leaders should be routinely doing. Every week sit down and ask a simple question, “Who did I meet or work with this week? Of those people, which one(s) impressed me with their energy, passion and/or ability?” Keep a log and write those names down. Do it again next week and the next week and the next...
Then, when you are thinking about leadership, as you see the same people come up again and again, perhaps also in the lists produced by others you work with who are doing the same thing, you will have a base to work from.
Next, rather than wait for nominations time, be proactive and set up time to meet with some of these people whose names come to the top. Encourage them. Tell them what you see. Ask them how they feel energized and called to be involved in making ministry happen. Help them gain skills or experience in ways that they would both want and benefit from.
Then, when the time comes to start a new ministry, staff a new program or transfer leadership from one leader to another, you will have a pool of people who are already on your radar and ready to take the next step.
Who around you is doing good work or has good energy? Have you told them that you noticed? How are you investing in them?