by Eddie Pipkin

(Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

Last week, at the conclusion of my “Misaligned Metrics” blog, I teased you with a reference to Excellence in Ministry Coaching’s new Leadership Skill Builders project.  Your ministry teams are hard-working squads of people with different gifts, talents, passions, knowledge, and experiences, and when you are able to direct those many strengths in the direction of a common vision, amazing things happen.  But the reality is that we all struggle to synthesize and direct those abilities.  Often, we are acutely aware that the whole team could benefit from specific training in fundamental skills that would make everyone stronger leaders, better communicators, and more focused and efficient tacticians.  That’s where our new Leadership Skill Builders units come in.  They are tightly focused training sessions, covering a wide swath of critical ministry topics, designed to give your teams the practical steps for achieving their goals.

In leadership team settings, which bring together volunteers who have worked in a wide range of roles, people have big, enthusiastic visions and are eager to see the ministry thrive, but there is no reason to expect that they will have any background in mastering the specific skill sets needed to bring their vision to fruition.  Ministry leadership has significant overlap with “real world” practices, but being biblically based and compassionately oriented, it requires a unique approach in many ways.

Even when certain individuals have had the right training, there is usually an imbalance with the team members who haven’t had any significant training at all.  So, taking time to do training together means everyone is working from the same tool kit.  Also, it means that the team can agree on certain planning, problem-solving, and communication processes, so that everyone is on the same page as to what the process will be.  That fact alone can dramatically improve the team attitude and workplace culture.

Staff members can benefit from the same training.  They tend to come to our ministries from a wide variety of backgrounds.  Some have had formal education in ministry management, but most have not.  Even for those who have completed seminary, there is generally little practical training provided to address the nuts and bolts of day-to-day ministry management.  Skill Builders Units can help.

You can home in on the training needed for the weak spots in your organizational leadership by focusing on specific Skill Builders topics.  You can do a refresh in an area in which you feel unfocused and less-than-skilled yourself.  You can undertake a comprehensive training schedule, a practicum of coursework designed to keep you and your team growing – the discussions that come from the review of the unit topics will be a powerful dynamic for moving ministry forward.

Here is a sampling of the topics:

  • Action Planning
  • Behavioral Covenants
  • Change Management
  • Creating Hospitality Systems
  • Decision Making
  • Delegation
  • Empowering Leaders
  • Feedback
  • Guest Follow-Up
  • Intentional Hospitality (Making Connections)
  • Interpersonal Hospitality (Building Relationships)
  • Invitational Hospitality (Reaching Into the Community)
  • Listening Skills
  • Powerful Questions
  • Problem Solving
  • M.A.R.T. Goals
  • Time Management
  • Understanding Your Community.

Imagine the power of a team that develops better listening skills!  Or understand the fundamental principles of hospitality or guest follow-up! Not only do the specific topics precisely represent the linchpin areas that our decades of ministry experience have demonstrated are key to a healthy, productive ministry, but they are delivered in a format that’s easy to digest, accessible, and relevant.  They also can be reviewed in a timely fashion: each is a compact training session that can be integrated into your regular leadership gatherings or staff meetings.

There are already 19 individual Skill Builders topics (some of which are breakdowns of broader subjects, such as the six sessions devoted to hospitality issues), and we are steadily adding more on a monthly basis.  You can purchase individual Leadership Skill Builders units (which include as many downloads / printouts as you need for your teams), or you can join our new LEADER RESOURCE MEMBERSHIP SITE, which grants your ministry full access to all of the resources developed by Excellence in Ministry Coaching for one low, comprehensive price.

One of those new resources that will be exclusively available to EMC3 members is a weekly “Conversation Starter” for the blog.  It gives you a quick and easy tool for using the weekly blog (or a topical blog from our vast archive) to prompt meaningful discussions in staff or leadership settings.  If you want to move beyond the blah-blah-blah of planning sessions and mandatory meetings to a lively discussion of principles and possibilities, the blog provides a great jumping off point (and the Conversation Starters make it effortless – great conversations will ensue).

We are interested in what you think of our new offerings and how you are applying them in your own ministry setting, so feel free to contact us directly with questions, and leave your observations or comments in the comments section below.  (My personal email is if you’d ever like to contact me directly.)  We are acutely interested in what topics you would like to see us address in future Skill Builder units.

Do you and your teams have ongoing micro-training sessions (or established training retreats) to learn new skills and build healthy ministry management processes?  We’d love to help you achieve your goals!