Leadership Training Doesn’t Work

Have you ever been involved in  a (Christian) leadership training seminar? I think many of you did. There is a real obsession in some church circles, as in various companies, particularly not-for-profit ones, for leadership training programmes.

Have you ever wondered why this programmes never actually work and, in fact, we have less leaders at the end of the process that we have without these gimmicks? Maybe the problem is that everybody wants to be a leader (much more ‘sexy, isn’t it?) but nobody really want to be a follower.

Geoff Surratt is trying an answer to this problem. Here it is.

Geoff Surratt lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife Sherry. Sherry is the CEO of MOPS International. Geoff and Sherry have two awesome kids (Mike and Brittainy), a wonderful daughter-in-law (Hilary) and the most beautiful grand daughter on earth (Maggie Claire) Geoff has served on staff at Seacoast Church and Saddleback Church. He is now a freelance Church Catalyst and Encourager.

* * *

A few years ago Leadership Training became all the rage in churches. Suddenly if you weren’t training leaders you weren’t really accomplishing much. “Everyone is a leader, so everyone must be trained as a leader”, we were told. We read all the leadership books, went to all the leadership seminars and we worked every leadership mantra we came across into our sermons:

Everything rises and falls on leadership
Leaders are readers (Except for the illiterate ones)
Leaders never eat alone (Which means introverts aren’t leaders. Wait, everyone is a leader. Hmmm)

To make sure that all of the leaders that we had to train got a steady diet of these leadership nuggets, we began herding the sheep through a variety of leaderships classes. Small group leader training, ministry leader training, team leader training, cheerleader training. (Maybe not cheerleaders) Everyone needed to go through our leadership classes. Everyone’s a leader, so everyone mus be trained. Our job is to do the training.

A couple of challenges have popped up, however, on the road to 100% trained leaders. First we discovered that maybe not EVERYONE is a leader. When we started our parade of leadership classes the same, somewhat dysfunctional people kept showing up. And the funny thing is that they were often the only ones who completed all 36 weeks of the  Leadership Basic Training course we had so carefully crafted. At the end of the course we would give them a graduation certificate, but there was no way on earth we were going to trust them to lead anything. It turns out some people don’t make good leaders. Not everyone is a leader.

Read HERE the entire article.


Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

2 thoughts on “Leadership Training Doesn’t Work”

  1. Dănuț, eu am participat la mai multe astfel de seminarii și pot spune că au mi-au fost de mare folos. În școlile biblice învățăm teolgie, consiliere, omiletică etc., dar nu avem deloc parte de o instruire în ceea ce privește managementul si conducerea. Cei mai multi absolventi nu au avut un job inainte de seminar, iar dupa seminar ajung sa administreze echipe de slujire, clădiri, resurse de tot felul, fiind lipsiți de experiența sau pregătirea necesară.

    Înțeleg cricita occidentală generată de supralicitarea leadershipului și, mai ales, de tehnologizarea slujirii, însă cred că în România suntem în celalaltă extremă. Noi avem nevoie de seminarii de leadership, pentru a forma o nouă generație de lideri care să abandoneze paradigma moștenită din anii de comunism. Cele spuse de Maxwell, de exemplu, pot fi considerate slogane, tehnică, dar pentru bisericile din țară, unde adesea totul se face după ureche, acele cursuri sunt de un real folos.


    1. Vasilica,
      Esenta interventiei mele legata de ceasta tema este ca liderii se formeaza prin ucenicie/mentorat nu prin cursuri si alte trucuri mecanice occidentale.


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