Archives For Leadership

Paul experienced suffering from the beginning of his Christian ministry. After Paul regained his sight (Acts 9:17-19) he began preaching in the synagogues in the city of Damascus (Acts 9:20). Shortly after Paul began his preaching ministry some Jews made a plan to kill him (Acts 9:17-20, 23). This persecution and suffering of Paul would become a theme for the rest of his life.

Paul's Suffering as a Leader

“Are they servants of Christ? I know I sound like a madman, but I have served him far more! I have worked harder, been put in prison more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not.* I have worked hard and long, enduring many sleepless nights. I have been hungry and thirsty and have often gone without food. I have shivered in the cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm.” (2 Cor 11:23-27) 1



  1. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are from the New Living Translation

The 70-20-10 strategy was created by the Center for Creative Leadership based on thirty years of Lessons of Experience research. 1 This strategy is designed to help current leaders develop potential leaders with limited time requirements. In this post I show you how to use the 70-20-10 strategy to develop potential leaders in your nonprofit organization or church. How To Use the 70 20 10 Principle for Leadership DevelopmentThe 70-20-10 rule for leader development follows this breakdown: 70 percent challenging assignments, 20 percent developmental relationships, and 10 percent coursework and training. In nonprofit organization these three components reinforce each other and add up to a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Before examining the 70-20-10 strategy closer, it is important to describe what it is not. Robin Hoyle mentions that he has seen the 70-20-10 approach misrepresented in the following statements: 90 percent of learning is done on the job, it is how people naturally learn, the numbers do not matter at all, the 20 percent is done most effectively through Twitter and LinkedIn, and that since most learning is done on the job there is no need for training courses (Hoyle, Informal Learning in Organizations, 169).


A. 70 Percent Challenging Assignments

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  1. Ron Rabin, Blended Learning for Leadership: The CCL Approach (Greensboro, NC: Center for Creative Leadership, 2014). The 70-20-10 principle is also described by Kramer and Nayak, Nonprofit Leadership Development, 82-101; Kramer, “Solving the Time and Money Puzzle”; and Hoyle, Informal Learning in Organizations, 168-177.

In his book, Developing the Leaders Around You, John Maxwell writes, “Varied experiences add incredibly to people’s development. It keeps them growing, stretching, and learning. The broader people’s base of experience, the better they will be at handling new challenges, solving problems, and overcoming difficult situations” (p. 118). Providing potential leaders with new projects and tasks is what gives them the skills they need to develop into leaders. Thankfully, this idea helps current leaders because they can get rid of projects they are working on which can easily be delegated to potential leaders. However, this is not an opportunity for leaders to dump tasks and projects that leaders do not want to do. 

3 Simple Ways to Develop Potential Leaders

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A. Leaders Delegate Projects and Tasks

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In nonprofit organizations, people will always be coming and going. Therefore, nonprofit organizations and churches must develop a pipeline of potential leaders. John Maxwell describes the importance of looking for potential leaders when he writes, “There is something much more important and scarce than ability: It is the ability to recognize ability. One of the primary responsibilities of a successful leader is to identify potential leaders. It’s not always an easy job, but it is critical” (Developing the Leaders Around You, p. 37). Included in this pipeline of potential leaders are the necessary qualities a potential leader needs to have as well as some of the basic skills that need to be possessed for future development of leaders. 

The Qualities You Want in Your Pipeline of Potential Leaders

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Some people are happy with their current job responsibilities and do not want to stretch into new roles. This means that some people will not want to be developed into leaders. Maxwell’s summary of this issue is relevant, “Nurture all of your people, equip many. But develop only a few—the few who are ready and willing”(Developing the Leaders Around You, p. 109). Below is a list of the prerequisite qualities for Christian and secular potential leaders that should not just be nurtured or equipped, but also developed.

A. Christian

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One of the best ways that busy leaders can grow leaders is to get buy-in from all levels of the nonprofit organization. From the board of directors down to the administrative support staff, everyone needs to believe in the importance of developing leaders. In addition to support from people, there needs to be support from the systems and culture of the organization. Here is a brief outline of the people and culture that you need support from in order to develop potential leaders in churches and nonprofit organizations. 

How To Grow Leaders with Support from People and Culture

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Nonprofit organizations are often understaffed and underfunded, resulting in over worked mid-level managers. As a result, most nonprofit managers are faced with the challenge of running a program, managing a staff, providing monthly board reports, helping with various fundraising responsibilities, and last but not least, developing leaders within their staff. Sadly, all of the challenges nonprofit leaders face often prevent leadership development from occurring. While developing leaders can yield the highest outcomes for employee productivity and improvement in the community, this area often gets put aside amongst other pressures because it does not provide immediate results or feedback. 

Why Leadership Development Is Needed for Young People

Photo Credit: Ken Lund


I experienced this lack of leadership development during the six years I was an employee at the United Way. As a Campaign Associate my primary responsibility was to recruit, equip, train, and lead approximately 125 volunteers. During those five years I had three different direct supervisors. These individuals were responsible for my growth as a competent employee and potential future leader within our organization.  Continue Reading…

The apostle Paul played an extremely important role in establishing the first century church (along with Peter and James). As a result, 13 of our 27 books of the New Testament were written by Paul. In Paul’s letters he provides an amazing testimony about his desire to receive approval from God for his work. At no time does Paul ever appear to care what others humans thought about him and his work because he only cared what God thought of his work.

Why You Need God's Approval for Your Work as a LeaderPhoto Credit: Sweet Publishing

Today leaders receive high levels of pressure to be “people pleasures.” Sometimes good leadership gets confused with merely being charismatic and popular. However, the apostle Paul provides an example of how you should seek the approval of God and not the approval of humans.

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Prayer should play a strong role in the life of a leader. Any leader who has attempted to achieve great things has realized that he cannot do it alone. Instead, he needs the guidance and support of God. In this post I show you some of the basic ways that the apostle Paul relied on prayer during his ministry.

The Role of Prayer for LeadersPhoto Credit: Anggie


Effective leaders know how to connect well with people, listen, resolve conflict, and speak in a way that others can understand. Not everyone is able to do this.

In the context of nonprofit work and church ministry the skills I’ve listed above are even more important since most of the people being led are volunteers. Because of this, leaders need to be extremely good at motivating, guiding, and encouraging the people they lead within their nonprofit or church.

Those intangible skills of leadership can be categorized into what is called “Emotional Intelligence.” In today’s post I share what Emotional Intelligence is and how you can use it to be a better leader.

How to Use Emotional Intelligence When Leading Volunteers

Photo Credit: Tristan Martin

I. What is IQ?

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Do you know of an organization that lacks wise leadership and advisers directing that organization? If you do, then that organization will fail.

John Maxwell says,  “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” And, in a way, this is true.

The Bible attests to this, and I am sure that Maxwell’s thought was probably not original with him but instead was derived from his study of the Bible.

Without Wise Leadership a Nation Will Fail

Picture from the NLT Study Bible

The book of Proverbs in the Bible mentions the word “leader” or “leadership” six different times. The first time the book mentions leadership is here:

Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers. – Proverbs 11:14 (NLT)

Sadly, there are nations in our world who do not have wise leadership. Some of the conflicts occurring in Ukraine reference this right now.

Proverbs 11:14 in HebrewBased on my own reading of the Hebrew text here are two thoughts about the language as I studied the literal meaning of this verse: Continue Reading…