How to Effectively Train Leaders
Tell us about yourself and your background.
I believe I have a unique combination. First of all, I have 25 years of corporate background, managing various engineering departments working with multiple companies in various fields, including nine years of managing a department that trained and developed professional corporate teams and leaders.
Secondly, I have over twenty years of ministry experience, which includes a 13 year pastorate, several daughter works and multiple church and sectional positions. I also have multiple degrees, including Christian Education, Business Administration, as well as a Ph.D. in Leadership Administration.
I am now a full-time evangelist and consultant, working with my wife, Monica in our own company Leadership Strategies International. We are like a performance improvement agency. Our main goal is to help churches accomplish the vision God has given them by equipping and enabling their leaders and the organizational structure.
What is the story behind your getting involved in leadership development?
I professionally trained and developed leaders. I was also involved in ministry. It was as though I put my pastor’s hat on, doing things a certain way and getting less than the best results. Then, I’d go to work, put on my leadership hat and have amazing results. At work, we developed methods of attaining total involvement, servant leadership, continuous improvement, and methods of fusing an organization together to reach a desired corporate vision. This experience revealed to me how far the church had gotten away from the Word of God in our structure and operations and the result is limited growth and involvement. This gave me a hunger to begin applying Biblical principles back into the Body of Christ by teaching people how to work together and to develop leadership skills.
What models of leadership development have you found to be successful?
I really believe the best model is the one espoused by the Bible, servant leadership. Servant leadership uses church leaders to remove the road blocks to enable others to do what God brought them into the kingdom to do.
The combining of secular skills and spiritual gifts is an art endorsed by the Bible. God will provide the people, talents and resources to a leader who understands how to mesh these together so they can be fruitful and multiply. Proper training is a must and requires consistency, quality training material, a proven process, and a commitment to the long-term.
Are there any books that you’d recommend a pastor read on this topic?
The Effective Executive by Peter F. Drucker. It is not enough to be busy, managing your calendar — you must be effective. Joel Barker is one of my favorite consultants. He wrote The Business of Paradigms, causing people to think outside the box. My favorite leadership book is still the Bible. I believe it’s the most cutting edge leadership book ever written. Many have called our book, The Upside Down Church, the best leadership book available. And, of course, I recommend Fast Forward, because it is the most effective leadership development program available from any resource.
Could you tell us more about your program Fast Forward, what it is and how it could help?
This is a pastor’s dream, but can be used by anyone who desires to become an effective leader. Each lesson develops the skills required by 21st Century Church leaders and is immediately applicable because it includes tools for implementation and skill development. It is beautifully packaged in a binder that includes the lesson with fill-in-the-blank format, answer key and tools for each lesson, as well as the audio lesson on CD or Cassette. Each volume contains a year’s supply of lessons with each lesson giving the leadership principle, the Biblical basis/application and the step-by-step Action Plan. There are three volumes at present with more in the making. The lesson plans can be duplicated for participants, so there is no limit to how many people can take the courses. Numerous churches are doing it in waves by progressing people from one volume to the next. The beauty of it is that FAST FORWARD does the training for you. Don’t even try to teach it yourself — just let the CD do the teaching. This takes a heavy burden off leadership. The classes are scheduled on the twelve month calendar, a facilitator sets up the class, provides the material and turns-on the CD. Now watch those leaders grow! Numerous churches are selecting all future leaders from the people who have completed these classes.
How much does this program cost?
Training is an investment — not a cost. Each volume sells for only $225, but the cost per person becomes pennies with each person who goes through the system. It is the best investment a leader can make.
I recently observed a pastor as he purchased several hundred dollars in leadership books. That is great, but the concepts from most of those books are already in FAST FORWARD. We have assimilated the information in a Biblically correct format in a way that can be implemented easily. One pastor stated, “I am an avid reader of leadership books, but the hottest selling books available today pale in comparison to FAST FORWARD”.
Do you have any closing comments to add to the topic?
Whether or not leadership development is their specialty, most pastors do not have the time to properly and consistently devote to its implementation. I encourage one and all to utilize our expertise and resources to your fullest benefit. In the beginning God created the original pattern and told it to produce after its kind. If we want leaders to develop today, then we must do the correct things to produce leaders after their kind. We have devoted our ministry to this purpose. This is our passion!