← View all nine strategies Jump to: Article / Videos / Discussion / Resources

Develop Leaders

We will raise up godly and competent leaders who support our vision and passionately make disciples. We will identify these leaders within our churches and provide opportunities for recruitment, internship and service.

By Matt Thomas
Bishop, FMCUSA

Starting and Ending With Leadership

Everything starts and ends with leadership. The Creation of the world and the conclusion of things as we know them are both attributed to a Leader, an Actor who produces the action. When God wanted to correct or shape the people, a leader (prophet, priest, king) was always involved in getting things started and carrying things through. We do not need to look too far at Jesus’ post-baptism ministry before we see His selection of leaders. Later, at both His Ascension and the new beginning of Pentecost, the same leaders were present doing what we would expect — being engaged and/or leading. The influential letters that form the majority of New Testament books were written by … ? You guessed it: leaders.

It should not surprise anyone in the Free Methodist Church that the first of our strategies for building a Christ-centered, expansive and fruitful ministry is to raise up godly, competent leaders who are passionate disciple-makers.We are aware that identifying, recruiting, training, preparing for service and deploying healthy, godly and competent leaders are fundamental to having a healthy, godly and competent church.
We endeavor to make leadership development a key part of what we do as a general conference. We insist that annual conferences make leadership development a central part of what they do. The same stands for the local church.

Leaders are important for several reasons. They model the Christ-centered life for the church. They teach the church. They represent Christ in their communities. They help the church develop its gifting and character to become a beautiful and fruitful bride for Jesus Christ. They shape the direction of ministry. They correct people and ministries when they are off course. Yet, even the most gifted people among us need help. We need Christ, of course.

We need coaching, mentoring, academic instruction, healthy peers, good environments, fitting opportunities and resources; we need people to lead us.

These do not come through osmosis or by accident. Leadership development requires awareness, intentionality and good strategy.

We must be aware of the leaders among us who have been untrained and unidentified. That is the first step to a strategy for leadership development. Right behind awareness and identification is a commitment to help future leaders see their potential and grow into it. Following all of the training that goes with this commitment is an intentional process of interning and allowing gift exploration and service. Trained leaders cannot truly lead unless they have the accompanying experiences to prepare them. Finally, we need to get these people going and let them lead.

Leadership development is only done well through a Spirit-led process with Spirit-filled leaders.

The starting point is with leadership developing leaders. The end point is the developed leaders who lead others. Having said all of this, we must say that the goal is not leaders. The goal is a healthy, mature church. Godly, competent leaders are instrumental in reaching the goal. We gratefully have a Great Leader who builds us as we build one another.


Recruiting for Transformation

Many people see college as a time to disconnect from church, but the Free Methodist Church of Southern California (FMCSC) is working to make college a time of deeper connection through the Center for Transformational Leadership (CTL).

“If we’re going to reach the people of the world today, they’re not going to come into a church,” FMCSC Superintendent Denny Wayman said. “We need to go to where they are.”

Read more …

Hope Africa University

Christian higher education in the Free Methodist Church is global.

Hope Africa University (HAU) is an educational institution established by the Free Methodist Church in Kenya in 1999. The university relocated to Bujumbura, Burundi, in 2003 with a total enrollment of 110 students. HAU now boasts more than 4,000 students, and it graduates doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers and business leaders to impact Burundi and East Africa. HAU is literally changing culture.

Read more …


We are developing a culture of leadership development. … We are creating training modules for each level of leadership for our volunteers. This kind of investment shows that we value them. It also gives them the confidence, character and competencies to lead. – Kelli Williams Wommack

Start while they are young. Youth ministry is crucially vital in that the majority of lifelong habits and traits of an individual are mostly formed before adulthood. If leadership skill is developed before adulthood, the individual will have tremendously more impact over the course of their life.

– David Turner

Be willing to use whoever God is willing to use.

– Jesse Brower

What do you think? Join the conversation.



Building a culture in your ministry where the Kingdom of God is being served and expanded and where leaders are being intentionally prepared requires leaders who have made an intentional commitment to building up leaders.

Staring a Mentoring Program

We needed to start by defining what we meant by mentoring, and Keith does a fantastic job at the beginning of this article of describing what we expected out of the relationship. A common mistake within industry and the nonprofit sector is to view interns as “cheap labor” that help to get a company or […]


The RTDS tools contained at badbobby.com allow leaders to reflect on their learning, measure progress, and develop their leadership capacity in real time. Below is a description of the each tool’s purpose and areas assessed.


The RTDS leadership development tools and the badbobby.com website are designed to help you create a rich leadership development culture in your ministry by accelerating the learning and growth of your leaders, and creating the conversations that support their learning.


I. IDENTIFY (the Who before the What) II. EQUIP III. DEPLOY

Emotional Self Regulation

What are some things that can help us to regulate our emotions? What are some of the situations that trigger negative emotional responses for you? Write these down and then have a conversation with someone who is invested in you.

Development Plans and Conversations

Do you have a documented development plan from the last 12 months? Yes No If Yes, please answer the questions below. If no, flip over and answer the questions on the other side. Directions: Please indicate whether or not the following statements describe your Personal Development.


The development of effective leaders is not something that can be accomplished in a classroom setting alone. This is particularly true when we’re talking about the development of Christian leaders. In the church, leadership development is a form of discipleship and thoroughly rooted in the context of a personal relationship… Read more…

Christ-Centered Leadership

Free Methodist elder David L. McKenna explains why Christian leadership is different. McKenna finds the difference in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ and through radical obedience to Christ’s call and dependence on the Holy Spirit. Buy the book…

The Shaping of an Effective Leader

Free Methodist elder Gayle D. Beebe shares eight principles of leadership. Beebe, who has spent more than a decade as a college and university president, had the opportunity to study with leadership expert Peter F. Drucker. Buy the book…

← View all nine strategies Jump to: Article / Videos / Discussion / Resources