TRANSITION & 51% of incoming pastors said there was no plan in place when they arrived, and 33% said the lack of planning caused problems as they took the helm. Solution: #Apprenticeship Model

by Kenneth Young, Faith & Leadership, Duke Univeristy, 7/7/20.

… Can you imagine working alongside the leader who would eventually turn the controls over to you? What would our churches, nonprofits and other organizations be like if we created such a model?

I see the apprenticeship idea supported by 2019 Barna research,(link is external) which says that planned transitions “tend to produce positive outcomes” — yet reports that 51% of incoming pastors said there was no plan in place when they arrived, and 33% said the lack of planning caused problems as they took the helm.

An apprenticeship model would allow the established leader to shape and mold the new leader, or at least work with that leader before stepping down. Institutions are well served when such a model is put into action.

For example, Bishop Paul S. Morton, the legendary gospel singer and pastor who founded the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship, stated publicly how he would transition the fellowship to new leadership — noting that he did not want to die in office — and then worked directly to apprentice now-presiding prelate Bishop Joseph Walker III, ensuring a smooth, successful transition.

Biblically, Moses trained Joshua to lead the Israelites into their next season. Elijah trained Elisha, and Jesus trained the 12 disciples for at least three years to spread the good news around the globe. If we take this model seriously, our churches, nonprofits and institutions will benefit.

Read more at … https://faithandleadership.com/kenneth-young-theres-better-way-manage-pastoral-transitions?

TRAINING LEADERS & How to Create a Formal Training Structure in Your Church #SpiritualWaypointsBook

by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., excerpted from Spiritual Waypoints: Helping Others Navigate the Journey (Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2010), pp. 197-198.

(In other postings I’ve discussed more specifics of “Apprenticeship” and “Mentoring” for church leaders.  For more on this topic see these postings which are also excerpted from SpiritualWaypoints: Helping Others Navigate the Journey).

Churches over 1254 in attendance should create a leadership development and training program. There are three elements that are essential for fostering holistic leadership training.

Element 1: Educate the mind.

Leadership training in a local church often takes place one night a week, with churches offering courses on leadership, volunteerism, management, etc. Too often churches confuse leadership training with theological or historical training, neglecting the former and accenting the latter. While good training has elements of each, remember that the trainee is struggling with hands-on application. Thus a sizable portion of the educating the mind should deal with the principles of application. It is also important to host a question and answer time for application clarification.

Element 2: Educate the hands.

The focus of most church leadership training is head knowledge, but this can be inadequate for hands-on doing is needed too. Remember the story of Len Sweet at Waypoint 6? Len had burgeoning head knowledge about Christianity and Christ, but it was not until he was forced into a ministry experience did God‘s power impact his life. Thus, training should not be only about theory or case studies, but should require the leader to be actively participating in ongoing ministry. And the trainee should be reporting back the results on a regular basis. This forces the trainee to learn ―in the field‖ as did the twelve disciples and the thirty-six teams of two, who reported back to the master the results for clarification, adjustment, and improvement in ministry.

Spiritual Waypoints [cropped top 1:3 65kb]Element 3: Educate the heart.

As will be noted in the next section, educating a heart to be sensitive to God‘s nudging, guidance, and correction are critical for effective leadership. Research suggests that formal training often results in less spirituality in a trainee‘s life.5 Thus, to offset the potential to over emphasize head and hand knowledge, a formal training program should include devotionals, meditation, ministry focus verses, and spiritual formation.

Elements 1, 2, and 3 must also be equally balanced. Due to the urgent nature of ministry, education of the hands can often dominate. At other times educating the mind can rule. Yet because supernatural intervention is needed in leadership development, it is educating the heart that is most critical to the process. Let us therefore investigate this area more closely.

TRAINING LEADERS & Easy Steps to Fostering Apprenticeship in Your Organization #SpiritualWaypointsBook

by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., excerpted from Spiritual Waypoints: Helping Others Navigate the Journey (Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2010), pp. 196-197.

(In other postings I’ve discussed “Mentoring” and “Formal Training” for church leaders.  For more on this topic see these postings which are also excerpted from Spiritual Waypoints: Helping Others Navigate the Journey).

Spiritual Waypoints [104KB]Apprenticeship, on the other hand, is more focused action than mentoring. Apprenticeship means focusing on one specific job. For example, a Sunday School teacher might recruit an ―apprentice‖ and groom them to be their replacement. To foster apprenticeship, there are also two fundamental rules to follow.

Require job descriptions for all professional and lay positions. Job descriptions should include:

  • The number of hours customarily required each week to adequately undertake these duties.
  • The leadership hierarchal structure, i.e. to whom the leader reports and those individuals the leader oversees.
  • A detailed description of the task, including paragraph long examples describing: exceptional work, adequate work, and unacceptable work.
  • A reminder that an updated version of the job description is required to be submitted when a person resigns from a job.

Require a designated apprentice for all jobs. In today‘s fluid and flexible culture, jobs will change and workers will depart. Thus, for continuity it is necessary for all leaders to train their replacement, even if the leader does not intend to leave in the foreseeable future. Thus, an apprenticeship strategy should:

  • Be required throughout an organization, and thus be acknowledged by those who are being led, as well as by all leaders.
  • Allow the apprentice to lead (under the supervision of the leader) at least 25 percent of the time.
  • Allow the apprentice to attend and receive the same training as the senior leader.

#StMarksTX

TRAINING LEADERS & How to Foster Apprenticeship & Mentoring #SpiritualWaypointsBook

by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., excerpted from Spiritual Waypoints: Helping Others Navigate the Journey (Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2010), pp. 194-195.

(In other postings I’ve discussed more specifics of “Apprenticeship” “Mentoring” and “Formal Training” for church leaders.  For more on this topic see these postings which are also excerpted from Spiritual Waypoints: Helping Others Navigate the Journey).

Churches often worry about allowing novices to engage in hands-on ministry too soon, especially those travelers who have just completed Waypoint 4: Spiritual Foundations. A common opinion is that travelers need time to ―get to know the way we do things here.‖ Yet one of the most prevalent and productive methods to foster leadership is to encourage hand-on training.

Foster hands-on training and expect failures.

Volunteers must be permitted to roll up their sleeves and engage in actual ministry. Jesus exemplified this when he sent out the twelve disciples (Matt. 10:1–42; Mark 6:6b–13) along with thirty-six teams of two (Luke 10:1–24). And he knew they were not fully ready for everything they would encounter. Since Jesus is all knowing (1 Sam. 2:3; 1 Chron. 28:9; John 16:30), he knew his disciples would flounder at times. And Jesus chose not to prevent this. For example, Jesus knew beforehand that the disciples would not be able to cast out the demons they encountered (Matt. 17:16–19). Yet Jesus used this failure to teach them about the additional preparation needed in prayer, faith, and fasting (Matt. 17:20–21; Mark 9:29). Because Jesus let them flounder and fail, lessons learned would not be forgotten. Therefore, allowing a person to be involved in hands-on ministry, and even to make some initial missteps, can drive home a lesson.
Spiritual Waypoints [104KB]
Foster apprenticeship and mentoring.

In the above biblical story, Jesus did not leave his disciples without advice or follow-up. Jesus beckoned his disciples to live with him (Matt. 4:18–20; 8:20), to travel with him (Mark 1:16–20), to watch him as he ministered (Mark 1:29–45), report back to him (Matt.17:16–19) and to be accountable to him (Mark 6:30; Luke 9:10). This gave his disciples informal learning opportunities, an ingredient that many churches underutilize. Too often new volunteers are abandoned when previous volunteers think they are now relieved of their duty and free to depart. But nothing could be further from the truth. New volunteers need an extended time to learn the wealth of knowledge the previous leaders have accumulated. Returning to our example above, Jesus spent months with his disciples before and after he sent them out. And even then the disciples‘ mistakes dogged their mission.

Such training can be fostered by both apprenticeship and mentoring. Apprenticeship is training for a specific task, while mentoring trains a leader in a range of ministries. For example, a newly graduated seminarian might be mentored in preaching, delegation, worship, etc. This would be an example of mentoring, for the seasoned leader works with the novice in a broad range of duties.

Speaking hashtags: #StLiz