Finding leaders in a world full of busy people

By Ron McCoy

Let’s be honest; people are busier today than ever before. For many of us, our congregations are filled with working families tapped out from dance recitals, karate tournaments, soccer practice and homework. Not to mention I promised myself I’d run that half marathon this year, and Girl Scout Cookie season is right around the corner. We can all relate. I can’t expect the same handful of faithful servants to lead everything as the need continues to grow.

Don’t worry. It’s not as bleak as it seems. Below are three ideas to help you find leaders in a world full of busy people.

1. Do some shoulder tapping.

Yes, people are busy, but do you know what else they are? Willing. Most people, even busy ones, don’t mind helping out when asked. In fact, they’re usually honored you’ve asked. They didn’t realize the need because they probably got the same generic email everyone else got.

Be specific when you ask, and ask those with gifting in alignment with what you need. (Don’t ask the grouchiest guy in your church to lead the greeter ministry.) Leaders want to lead from their experience and gifting, so filter what you ask of specific people.

2. Help people feel included.

Many times, if someone has been doing something a long time, they need help welcoming new leaders. Your job is to help coach them on how to grow a team, and the biggest part of that is making sure new people are welcomed.

For the people who have been serving in a role for a long time, this can be difficult. They take serious ownership over “their ministry” and might struggle inviting others into it. Help them understand you’re depending on them to help others share the burden of leading the church.

3. Fish from younger pools.

Do you have a Young Adult ministry? How often are they invited to help lead? I don’t mean the generic asks either; I mean the specific kind of ask. Say to them — personally and face to face — “We need you. We’re dependent upon you to help us lead this.” Be inspiring and convicting, but don’t talk down to them. They love the church. They want to help lead. They probably just haven’t been invited in a compelling way yet.

Also, what about your junior high and high schoolers? Have you asked them to help lead? Don’t forget these generations will be the determining factor in whether your church makes it to another generation. The future church is dependent on their learning to lead and growing up in a culture that invites the next generation to help lead.

People love to help lead. If you want them to be compelled to lead, make the ask personal and specific, cast an exciting vision and they’ll be lining up to help lead. And don’t forget about the next generation of leaders. Invite them to the table early and create a culture for growing young leaders.

Published September 29, 2020

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Ron McCoy

Ron McCoy is executive director of ROGO Foundation with Sandals Church. Find out more about his work at