The 5 "I's" of Leadership Development

Five letter I Scrabble tiles on a pile of other tiles

By Renee Ruchotzke

Leadership Development should be an ongoing process in your congregation that includes the following practices:

Identify: Who is Called to be a Leader?

Your Leadership Development Team should have several practices and strategies that enable them to identify potential leaders, especially from groups that may be at the margins (young adults, people of color). Here are a few suggestions:

  • Attend newcomer classes.
  • Talk to small group ministry leaders.
  • Hold a ministry fair in the congregation. Enable people to learn more about ways to serve in a fun and festive atmosphere. This provides a transparent, low-risk way for people to explore service.
  • Ask the "connectors" in the congregation to act as scouts for potential leaders.
  • More on Identifying Potential Leaders for Your Congregation.

Invite: Help Potential Leaders Discern Their Gifts

  • Schedule one-on-ones with members of the congregation to ask them about their passions and how they might be engaged with the mission and vision of the congregation.
  • Schedule leadership discovery events.
  • Encourage each leader and potential leaders to develop a personal leadership inventory and learning/serving plan.
  • Create leadership study groups where members create relationships of accountability around their learning and serving.
  • More on Inviting Potential Leaders to Discern Their Gifts

Inform: Help Equip Your Leaders with Training and Formation Opportunities

Involve: Help Leaders Find a Way to Serve the Ministry that Best Matches Their Gifts and Calling

Inquire: Create a Culture of Creativity

  • Use an ongoing, appreciative assessment tool (in partnership with your Committee on Shared Ministry, if you have one) to help leaders see how well they are serving the
  • ministries and mission of the congregation.
  • Use mistakes as an opportunity for learning, not blaming.
  • Make space for “volunteer sabbaticals.”
  • More on how to  Develop Feedback Loops for Leaders.

About the Author

Renee Ruchotzke

Rev. Renee Ruchotzke (ruh-HUT-skee) is a Congregational Life Consultant and program manager for Leadership Development.

For more information contact .