Most church leaders don’t think of leadership in terms of levels. We tend to think more of finding volunteers or even servants. Instead I want you to begin thinking of multi levels of leadership and to begin to ask which category your leaders might fall into. I have discovered the following levels. There may be more.

The first is Leaders of leaders. These are the people who lead other people. I’m not talking about pastors of congregations, but the many people in your congregation who have the potential to be leaders of other leaders. These are the apostles and mentors. They know how to help others grow. Just being around them causes one to expand the horizons. Often these folks are on the edge of institutional life or beyond it. It is not unusual for them to break the rules just to break the rules.

Next there are leaders of teams or small groups. These people are excellent at facilitation and collaboration. They hold up a clear standard and assist a group of people to achieve far more than they thought they could. Although this skill is close and may overlap with leaders of leaders, this type of leader inspires and assists more than mentors. Lots of creativity is needed here. Often, these folks do not do well on committees or within tightly supervised environments.

Next there are leaders of programs. Organization and supervision are their skills. These leaders like a well defined responsibility. They are able to organize details and volunteers. Creativity and organization is needed here. These folks need to be able to see how the program fits into the big congregational picture.

Then leaders of committees. Administration of the institution is the key here. Not much creativity needed, only people who know how the system works and how to work the system for the benefit of those in ministry and are willing to work on behalf of the common good of the congregation. The fewer leaders being used in this category, the more likely the congregation will do better in the new world.

Finally, there are leaders of task forces. These folks are given a short term task to complete. No creativity needed, just hard work. Often these folks could easily move up the leadership ladder but time won’t permit it. Many may be people who travel certain times of the year.

The next time you think about finding more leaders, what kind of a leader are you looking for?

The key to being a good identifier and recruiter of leaders is to sense who is in the right place and who is capable of leading up the ladder of leadership.