Three Secrets of an Lp Residency

by Dave Miller, Lead

“What’s the secret of a Leadership Pathway Residency?”

Our team gets this question often. I normally think that those asking are hoping we’ve landed on something magical…a silver bullet of growing a future leader.

Someone recently texted me after listening to a podcast “thanks for the open-platform learning you are providing for us out here.” I thought “cool, there’s a platform? and it’s open?” Yes!

So in an effort to try to boil off the special formula, allow me to present the three secrets of the Lp residency.

TIME. The hill I’ll die on is that this takes 2 years. Lp charges a church less than the thigh-blaster that’s under your bed. You know, the one you purchased at 3am after the ice cream. The real cost is not the money. The cost is the time. The weekly time of talking and coaching AND the long walk to get to the 18th month. Summer internships aren’t evil, but the only reason to do them is you might find a resident who’ll stay two years out of your pool of summer interns.

We must provide teaching churches to help get to a full time role in ministry. Education, no matter how advanced or over priced, will not open the door to the first full time vocational ministry role. Spiritual formation, no matter how deep, authentic, or legit will not either.

These things along with two years experience at a great church, with a killer reference, will.

Our over-used cliche about time: the point of the first year is to get to the second year.

YOU. A church leader that is willing is key. Most either haven’t thought about it (I never did I hate to admit that), or we just aren’t willing (I was “too busy” I was an idiot. Don’t be like me). We’re already too busy, too stretched, too over-worked, too…

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You do NOT need to be a world class teacher to have a resident. World class teachers have their platform it’s called a classroom. You DO need to be willing to take someone with you at all points through your day, talk, evaluate, and help them become the next version of you. What worked for you when you were 18 to 25? Just do that. You may have to contextualize it to this generation…but it’s going to be some combination of coaching, mentoring, talking, wanting more for them than from them, and the 137 things that were given to you.

Our over-used cliche about you: you (a current church leader we trust) are the expert in what it takes to be the next you.

*CONVERSATIONS. You might be the Sharpie-flip-chart-board-room coach, or you might be the long-walk-with-a-Coke-Zero-coach…it doesn’t matter HOW to us. What matters is that someone is actually coaching a young leader on the things that’ll get them fired. I’ve never heard of a young leader getting fired because of their lack of knowledge of the ancient texts. (Although the ones that love it tend to use initials instead of a first name…have you noticed that? Just call me D. L. Miller.) I don’t even think that I’ve heard of someone ending a ministry cause they weren’t spiritually formed.

I have had many conversations about one of these twenty topics ending a ministry career, though. Since there are so many focused on Education, and Spiritual Formation, we obsess over these competencies. You can see an example of a chapter from our Guidebook here.

Our over-used cliche about developmental conversations is: i do you watch we talk…

So the question now is probably “HOW?”

I think that’s the part where you need Leadership Pathway.

*I really tried to get the single syllable word here, but can’t come up with one. Let me know if you’re a branding person who works for free.


what, residencyDave Miller