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New Year’s resolutions to equip new leaders!

Do you want to get your church hopping in the New Year? Below are six motivating and inspiring ways to get your new leaders off to a positive start.When your leaders are engaged and focused, people in your congregation and community will become excited about the church and its ministries.

1. Equip leaders with specific tasks.
Give the new leaders copies of Guidelines, written by Discipleship Ministries. Each Guidelines booklet provides a solid foundation for planning and understanding specific ministries. Be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound) as you set goals, keeping the church’s purpose and mission at the forefront of your plan.

Give committees and volunteers plenty of time to plan and develop their work by using a ministry calendar or a project timeline. Once you have a project timeline, plug the dates into your editorial calendar. Alleviate stress by giving yourself plenty of time to create a Vacation Bible School curriculum, or to coordinate annual events.

2. Offer coaching.
In the local church, it often is hard to break old patterns of leadership. This may be especially true if outgoing leaders have bad habits yet, mentor the incoming leaders. If church leaders are stuck in patterns that need to change, enlist someone from outside to help. For instance, you could find another United Methodist church that has a well-functioning worship committee and ask that chairperson to coach your new worship chairperson. Some annual conferences have congregational developers or coaches. Paid coaches can be expensive, but you might find funding from your conference’s congregational development office. Also, checkout these inexpensive solutions for getting top-notch training. United Methodist Communications offers in-person and online training as well.

3. Provide resources.

Offer internal training and promote district and conference training. Also, plan some spiritual retreats. Provide continuing education for your leaders. Here are some examples:

  • Take 15 minutes at church council to do some teaching or training.
  • Invite your leaders to read a book and talk about it.
  • Create a curriculum and offer a class on leadership.
  • Promote district and conference training events.

If you need a retreat, but don’t have the time (or gifts) to lead it, invite another pastor or lay person to facilitate it (and then find a way to return the favor). For more information, check out, 8 summer retreat ideas: UMC camp history and locations.

4. Pray for new leaders.
Commit to praying for your leaders, and involve others in the prayer process. Identify people who are called specifically to a ministry of prayer and commission them to pray daily for church leaders. A great resource for different prayer methods is at Upper Room.

5. Say “thank you.”

Thank your leaders every chance you get and never forget why they are volunteering — to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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