Leadership development is something everyone is committed to but struggles with in the course of life. Sometimes we get  motivated and put together a long stream of classes we want leaders to do and call that “development.” Other times, we have a pre-planned one-on-one process to guide people through. Or we gather a group of leaders and grow together for a season.

All of these approaches are useful and we use a mix of these in Bread&Wine. However, one of the best tools we created is the leadership development plan. A leadership development plan helps leaders create, for themselves, a plan to grow in character, competency, and skill by asking questions and giving the leader space to dream and reflect.

Leaders need to own their development. Below is a template to help leaders create a plan. This is their agenda for growth. As a coach, you can use this to help them move forward. You can download a printable and editable Leadership Development Plan to use yourself or implement in your care fore leaders.

Leadership Development Plan

Picture of Health

Get with your co-leaders or leaders in training to think through this first section together.

A Gospel Community exists because of the gospel. We are growing up into a deeper understanding and application of the gospel. We are taking the gospel to the neighborhood, city, and world through intentional missional engagement.

  • What would your Missional Community look like if it was thriving?
  • What would your neighborhood look like if it knew Jesus?
  • What would it take for them to see the transformation Jesus brings to a community of people?
  • What would you like to see happen this year in your Missional Community?
  • What are some goals for your community  this year?
  • What are a few steps your Missional Community could take toward your vision?

Leading a Missional Community

In light of those hopes, dreams, and goals, use this section to explore what your role is in leading this missional community.

What is your role in leading your Mission Community? How do you think God might use your specific gifts, talents, and story to lead this Missional Community?

What isn’t your role in leading your Missional Community? What responsibilities aren’t yours?

Personal Development

Leaders are examples in communities of people who are walking in repentance and faith. They are growing in their knowledge of the gospel, believe in the gospel, and obedience to the gospel. One helpful way to think about this transformation is in terms of our head, heart, and hands being conformed to the image of Christ. As you work through this section, look for themes and connec- tions across each area.

Head: Growing in Knowledge

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” —Romans 12:2

Where do you need to grow in knowledge? Are there things you need to know? Is there an issue you need to press into, an issue of Scripture to grow in deeper understanding of? Are there pieces of theology you need to learn? Are there aspects of gospel communities on mis- sion that you still need to know?

How will you learn? (i.e. Is there a book or article to read, equipping session you need to attend, commentar- ies or studies to do, scripture to memorize, etc.?)

Heart: Growing in Belief

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” —Ephesians 1:18

What areas of life do you need to grow in belief in the gospel? What areas do you need to see repentance in? What bondage are you volunteering for in your heart? What forgiveness needs to happen?

How will you grow in belief? (i.e. Shepherding conversations to have, questions and issues to bring up in discipleship and accountability groups, what material do you need to walk through, Redemption Immersion, prayer, fasting, retreats, etc.?)

Hands: Growing in Obedience, Skill, Practice.

“Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded.” —Matthew 28:20

“Being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts.” —James 1:22-25

“Jesus glorified the Father by accomplishing the work he gave him to do.” —John 17:4

What skills do you need practice in? Where are you ex- celling and need to keep growing at? Where are you fail- ing to live what you believe? What skills do you need to develop? What things is God calling you to that you need to step into in obedience?

How will you grow in obedience, skill, and practice? (i.e. Are there trainings to attend, do you need to shadow someone, do you need to make a schedule, schedule some specific coaching to help you, are there opportunities for practice and feedback you need to pursue?)

Using This Tool in Coaching

You can use this tool in a variety of ways in a coaching relationship. It lays the foundation for the entire relationship by giving the coach the leaders’ vision for their missional community, their perceived role, and their desires to grow and how. It also gives an agenda for subsequent conversations. One can simply sit down to ask: what part of your development plan would you want to talk about today? Likewise this can set a pattern for coaching. I like to use one session to talk about their missional community and what one thing the leader could do next to move their community toward their vision. I set aside the following session to discuss only their development and help them come to next steps in growing as a follower of Christ. This back and forth creates a balance of focusing on the leader and their community.

Brad A. Watson serves as a pastor of Bread&Wine Communities in Portland, Oregon where he develops, coaches, and trains leaders to form communities that love God and serve the city. Brad is passionate about helping people live lives that reflect their belief and hope in Jesus. He lives in southeast Portland with his wife and their three kids.