Stetzer: Churches Struggle with Fostering Young Leaders
Research on how well churches are developing the next generation.

Recently, LifeWay Research surveyed pastors about the church's leadership development and mission. We asked them to rate their agreement in the following three areas:

1) Investing in leaders through the church

The survey asked pastors to respond to this statement: "I am intentionally investing in leaders who will emerge over the next ten years."

Pastors strongly believe they are doing just that—67 percent strongly agreed and 26 percent somewhat agreed. Wow! That's 93 percent who are convinced that they are investing in emerging leaders. They also affirmed that the church has a responsibility to develop future leaders.

But when asked to evaluate how well the church is accomplishing the task of leadership development, most agreed, but not nearly as enthusiastically. We posed this statement: "The church does a good job fostering and developing new leaders." This time 26 percent strongly agreed and 52 percent somewhat agreed, a drop in overall agreement of 15 percent. In addition, a significant amount of disagreement starts to appear—21 percent either somewhat or strongly disagreed with the statement.

While pastors believe that the church is a place where leaders need to be developed and they see themselves investing in this task, they generally recognize a real deficit in the church's effectiveness in accomplishing it. Although efforts are being made, pastors are not confident that the church is nurturing and growing new leaders adequately.

This article first appeared in our sister publication Leadership journal. Continue reading "Good News, Bad News in Raising Leaders," on LeadershipJournal.net, where the full version appears for free.

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