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Home » Featured, Headline, Staff/Volunteer Leadership

The Economy and the Church: Too Few Leaders

Submitted by James Higginbotham on January 20, 2010 – 4:48 am5 Comments

I hear this question over and over again. It is a question that is common to just about every church, but more common with the economic downturn and recent staff layoffs.

The question is: How do I find more leaders for my church?

For those looking for a quick fix, there isn’t one. You may think that you can take anyone and put them into a leadership position, and it may work for the short term. However, this isn’t a long term fix (and often, it causes more harm that benefit).

Want to know the real truth? It takes time and intention to invest in new leaders.

Developing new leaders requires a process.

It requires a process of investing time with your current leaders so that they can train the next generation of leaders.

It requires a process of investing time to disciple your church so that they grow and become independent.

It requires a process of investing time to create opportunities for service and leadership growth.

During a booming economy, churches often ignore this investment. They are often more focused on doing more things and getting more people that they ignore the basics. When this happens, the economy drives the church, rather than the church ministering to those suffering from the downturn.

Want to know how to get started fixing the problem? We’ll talk more about that tomorrow. For now, you need to know that it requires an intentional and significant investment of your time. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about the details.

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  • Andrew Fuqua says:

    Yes, I know I’ve got to invest in my leaders. Nurture. Encourage. Guide. But I do so little of that. I believe the reason is I and all my leaders are stretched too thin. I blogged on this yesterday and recommended a solution at http://www.andrewfuqua.com/2010/01/no-more-weak-commitments.html

  • Andrew,

    Good post, thanks for sharing the link. Out of curiosity, are you developing a deeper set of volunteers in the church to offset the core leaders that are stretched too thin?

    What I’ve seen is that if we develop new volunteers, over time the needs that many of our core feel burdened for go away or shift, rather than pile on.


    P.S. Look for my post tomorrow on how to develop these new volunteers into future leaders!

  • [...] Yesterday, we talked about churches having too few leaders. Now, let’s dig into the details of how a church can recover when they have too few leaders. [...]

  • Andrew Fuqua says:


    I like the thought that developing additional volunteers can relieve burdens for areas of ministry that the core have. I can see that. I want this and that taken care of so I do it myself since I don’t see anyone else that will handle it with my passion or reliability. So I carry that burden.

    You asked if I am developing more volunteers to help out. I guess I’d answer with a very qualified ‘yes’. I don’t think I’m very intentional about it.


  • Andrew,

    That’s great to hear that you are on your way! The more you disciple and develop new leaders, the more people that will be available to do things you do today. The approach is based on 2 Tim 2:2, where 1) you do, 2) you do, they watch, 3) you watch, they do, 4) they do, 5) they do, someone else watches.

    Stick with it! God will guide you daily, give you the energy and direction, and do some mighty things!