5-17_Blog

How to Develop Your Leadership (and Your Leaders) This Summer

What are you doing this summer?

During this season, many churches experience what’s known as a “summer slump.” Attendance goes down. Volunteers are more difficult to find. And for many churches, generosity decreases (but it doesn’t have to be this way. For tips on how to avoid a summer giving slump click here.)

Overall there’s a general lull that exists for churches everywhere during the summer months.

While some church leaders will simply wait out the summer slump, others will take advantage of it. The summer months can be the perfect time to grow your leadership ability and the leadership ability of others. How can you be one who takes advantage of the summer slump?

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Create a personal leadership development schedule.

If you don’t have a plan and take control of your schedule, you will find yourself in the fall, wondering where all the time went. Before the summer begins, map out your personal leadership development plan. Block off time in your calendar for reading and development meetings. Map out your summer plan now.

2. Identify three to five leadership books that you will read.

You’ve likely heard this saying before— “Leaders are readers.” There seems to be some truth to this. Some of the most well- known leaders are consumers of books. Find a few best selling leadership books you have yet to read and map out your summer reading plan.

3. Take an online course.

There are numerous online leadership courses available now. Some online courses are attached to colleges, but many are not. Find a course that pertains to your specific area of oversight. As an example, if you oversee your church’s first impressions team, consider taking a course on customer service. This summer, grow in the knowledge of your area of oversight to be a better leader in the fall.

4. Learn from local community leaders.

Church leaders will often meet with community leaders to build relationships for ministry purposes. This summer, ask to meet with community leaders for a different purpose—to learn from them. Let them teach you the leadership lessons they have acquired. Many of these men and women would be eager to do so.

5. Hold a book study.

Develop your leadership skills by growing the leadership skills of others. Take one of the books you are already reading this summer and hold a book study for your key staff and volunteers. Include others on your journey to becoming a better leader.

6. Give volunteers more responsibility.

The summer slump often includes a drop in volunteers. But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. You can shift your focus from training new volunteers to further training and increasing responsibility of your current volunteers. Let them know you desire for them to grow as leaders and want to give them the opportunity to do so. This will be beneficial to your church in the long run and make training of new volunteers this fall easier. The men and women in your book study are likely the perfect candidates for greater responsibility.

 

Take full advantage of the summer slump. Start developing your leadership development plan today. Invest in yourself and others. You may look back on these summer months as a critical turning point for your leadership ability and the leadership ability of others.

Art Rainer
Art Rainer

Art Rainer is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He writes and speaks widely about issues related to finance, wealth, and generosity, and is the author of The Money Challenge: 30 Days of Discovering God’s Design for You and Your Money. Art lives in Wake Forest, North Carolina with his wife, Sarah, and their three children.

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