Building a Pipeline

If you don’t yet have a leadership pipeline system in place, you’re probably wondering “where do I even start?” Here are a few steps we’ve taken at Freedom Church to build our leadership pipeline:

Encourage Generosity
We talk a lot about generosity in our churches. And this is a perfect avenue for encouraging people to serve. At Freedom Church, when we talk about generosity which is one of our core values, we encourage people to not only be generous with their finances but also with their time and talents.

Take an Inventory
We have to measure where we’re currently before we can accurately determine how we’re going to move forward. Spend some time taking an inventory of who is currently in your leadership pipeline and being developed. As you do that, remember that being in a leadership position doesn’t equate to being developed as a leader. Identify folks who are ready to lead others as well as those who are ready to be developed into leading others.

Build a Rhythm
After you identify who is in your leadership pipeline, build a rhythm for your development process. At Freedom Church we set up bi-weekly meetings with a 1:3 or 4 ratio. We identified one individual who was ready to lead others and paired them up with 3 or 4 individuals who were ready to be led. In these meetings we work through these PDF guides from Seacoast Church. They’re a great resource!

Make the Ask
After you have your pipeline system in place, you have to ask people to commit to it. We asked those individuals we identified who were ready to be developed if they wanted to be developed and invited them into the process.

Watch it Grow
As you lead people up the pipeline, your pipeline will grow. We started with 5 or 6 individuals who were ready to lead others developing 30 or so individuals who were only leading themselves. Our hope is that by the end of the fall, as those 30 individuals move up the pipeline to leading others, everyone who is in a small group at Freedom Church will be in the pipeline at some level.

As your leadership pipeline grows, keep in mind that 60% of people will probably never move beyond the level of leading themselves and that’s okay. Not everyone was created to be a leader. But we still have a responsibility to develop them in the area they’re at.