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Years ago when I taught the Teacher Training at our church I would attempt to shift their paradigm by telling them, “Teaching isn’t talking, listening isn’t learning.”  We make a fatal mistake in leadership development when our only approach to training is dumping information from the teachers mouth to the learners ears .  Dumping information doesn’t necessarily produce transformation.  But many organizations use an informational rather than a transformational approach to developing leaders. Here are some of the big differences between the two.

  • Informational tells learners what they need to know.  Transformational challenges learners to behave in new ways by putting principles into practice.
  • Informational dumps content.  Transformational develops competencies
  • Informational the trainer provides the relevant information.  Transformational the trainer adapts content to the need and competency level of the learner.
  • Informational is one-way communication. Transformational is a two-way dialogue
  • Informational uses a one dimensional form of lecture.  Transformational uses the multi-faceted approaches of adult learning.
  • Informational follows a linear pathway.  Transformational customizes learning based on the learners present situation, curiosities and needs

What percentage of your leadership development efforts are Informational versus Transformational?  What steps can you take to increase the percentage of Transformational training?

Not everything we call leadership development is truly leadership development.

One of your staff members has a vacancy on his team, he looks around to find a new leader to fill the empty spot.  As he scrolls his finger over the names on the church roster he thinks to himself, “He’s not ready, she’s not ready, he’s not ready…oh, there’s someone that’s ready.” So he recruits them, places them and the gap is filled.

Unfortunately, that’s how many people are doing “leadership development” today.  But that’s not leadership development; that’s leadership placement.  Big difference.

  • Leadership development is looking for willingness not just readiness
  • Leadership development is walking along side someone for an extended period of time helping them learn the skills of leading
  • Leadership development is seeing potential in someone and developing that potential to its fullest capacity
  • Leadership development is giving them tasks of leadership before giving them the title of leader.
  • Leadership development is taking time to build their confidence and competence, not just handing them a job description and “empowering them”.
  • Leadership development means I’ve made the relational investment that goes way beyond recruiting and follows through the development process.

Let’s make a commitment to doing more leadership development and a lot less leadership placement in 2015.

On October 6-7 I have the privilege of being a part of a very exciting opportunity.  LAUNCH is sponsoring the City Movement Forum at Exponential West.  Read what my friend Chris Lagerlof has to say about this unique gathering. 

Too often pastors ask the question, “how do I grow my church?” instead of, “how do we transform our city?.” 2 Samuel 10:12 encourages us, “to fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God.” Paul writes letters to the Church in cities, not a specific church–but the Church. Jesus sends out 72 to focus on towns and cities.

Cities matter to God!

As leaders, we have to be intentional and unite on mission. City transformation requires us to shift our focus to impact our cities–which are becoming younger, urban and more ethnic. We have to plant churches that reflect our city’s culture and needs. We need better strategies to plant churches and missional communities that actually reach people and transform geographics.  The only way we will see cities transformed is when the Church is mobilized and multiplied to impact every man, woman and child that call our cities home. Only churches that think this way will grow and have future impact.

In this Forum focusing on City Movements, you’ll gather with other urban + city movement leaders to learn together and share stories, insights and best practices for creating and leading a culture of city movement. We believe you’ll be inspired and challenged, and will come away with a bigger picture of your city and equipped to either launch a collaborative movement in your city or continue to build on what you’ve already started.

Key tensions we’ll be exploring:

  • What’s unique about a city-centric approach? We’ll look at the models and strategy for city-centric movements, and why clarity is critical to accomplish your objectives and goals. Your focus will determine your strategy and impact in your city and geography.
  • What does true Kingdom collaboration look like? How do we connect across denominational and network lines? We’ll explore the difference between networks, partnership and collaboration AND ask the hard questions to understand how they all work together in a Kingdom framework.
  • How do we build intentionally for diversity? What do we need to know about fostering churches and movements that mirror the people in our cities and engages their unique dreams and needs? And why it matters.
  • How do you lead a movement that is financially sustainable? We want to get honest about the need to find strategies and new models that aren’t dollar-driven but rather disciples-driven. We’ll look for, and at, different models of sustainability.
  • What are the essentials and non-negotiables for a real city movement and multiplication? Let’s make sure we understand the keys to launching and building a city movement that thrives. How do we develop ecosystems that last and strategies where real city transformation happens? We want to come away understanding–or asking questions to discover–the “3rd dimension” of our city.

Come hear from practitioners and experts who are facing and navigating these key tensions–leaders who are catalyzing movements and seeing results. These leaders are passionate, their fervor contagious. We want every participant to leave with new and renewed passion as they fight for their cities.

Register at

Monday, October 6, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. through

Tuesday, October 7, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Saddleback Church Campus