What & How by Sean Badeer
It’s going to take a new kind of leader to lead in the local church. And we need them now more than ever before. You don’t have to look intently to notice that our world is changing. As issues continue to get more complicated and divisive, church leaders are faced with new questions and challenges that need to be answered by a new generation.
This is what drives our passion for creating church leaders at Leadership Pathway. What we do is fueled by a passion to see a new generation of leaders prepared for ministry through the local church.
We help church leaders staff their church with future hires who have their DNA. If you're a church leader and you've tried to hire staff in the last few years you know it can be tough. After you've searched within your own church and among all your friends you have to turn somewhere else. But where?
We help churches create a pipeline of church leaders who become highly desired and hirable full-time staff. We know that there are dozens of leadership development programs and resources out there, but what’s missing is a proven path with a trusted guide for the next generation of church leaders.
We help ministry students actually get a job. Our focus is not on giving students a gap year, or on helping churches get free help for the summer. Our focus is on creating church leaders. That means producing leaders who become full-time staff at a local church.
The conversation I have with churches and students always baffles me. Most of the students that I talk to are asking “Where are the ministry jobs?” The churches that I talk to are asking “Where are the candidates?” There are organizations built entirely around helping churches find the right candidates for their open positions. Meanwhile, for the many students looking for employment at a church, there is a sizable gap between where a student is and where a church needs them to be.
So how do we get there?
We find residents. We help churches find the right students. We interview and vet students and help them develop a profile that goes beyond a resume. This profile helps give churches an idea of where a student could fit in their particular context, and also helps students find the right opportunity. We know that a student’s first few years of ministry experience will have a tremendous impact upon their long term success in ministry, so we like to have the honest conversations up front.
We help churches launch residencies. Internships are dead. While they may still help give a student introductory exposure, churches have stopped relying on traditional seasonal internships to fill their leadership pipeline, and students are skeptical of internships because most of them haven’t done much to actually prepare them for ministry. Residencies allow a church to get a real return on investment by having a student stay for a longer period of time. It also gives the student a chance to lead something and gain meaningful experience. We pair that experience with focused coaching, which helps contextualize everything.
We coach coaches. Students need a trusted guide in the process. We think that the best guides are the people doing ministry now. We ask every church to look for the developers on their staff and to rely on them for the residency coaching. We come alongside your coaches and train them on how to coach students in 24 leadership traits that we call “core competencies”. We’ve seen time and time again how effective this is in helping a young person develop as a leader.
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