I am twenty eight years old, and I need to develop into the leader that God has designed me to be. This Leadership Development Plan (LDP) will be the tool I use to grow as a leader in my future ministry contexts based on my personality, gifts, and learning styles.
This plan was developed in a class I took with Aubrey Malphurs, Ph.D. at Dallas Theological Seminary. Even though this plan might be personal I hope it can serve you as a sample to help you create your own leadership development plan.
A. My Design
1. My Divine Design
According to Andrew Seidel’s book, Charting a Bold Course, my DISC personality profile labels me as a High S. S stands for “Steadiness” which means that I act patiently, want routine, fear change, and respond with nonparticipation.(p. 79) This is good because it means when heading in the direction I think God wants me to go in, I will not give up easily.
According to the Spiritual Gifts Inventory in Aubrey Malphurs’ book, Being Leaders, (pp. 184-190), teacher is my number one spiritual gift at a point value of 46.
Teacher is defined as the “God-given ability to understand and communicate biblical truth” (see Malphurs, Maximizing Your Effectiveness, p. 52). For a while I taught a men’s Bible study and discipled someone. I enjoyed both of these because I could study the Bible, develop a lesson of biblical truth, and share it with others.
Apostleship is listed as my number two spiritual gift with a score of 41. Apostleship is ministry involving church planting or cross-cultural ministry (Malphurs, Maximizing Your Effectiveness, pp. 48-49). I love to think of new things, dream, and take risks when working. This apostleship gift of creating new ministries and starting new things was exemplified when I started a nonprofit ministry to serve people in need of food.
2. My Current Life Circumstances
Going forward in my career with a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership (MACL), I hope I will be a godly man, lead well, teach the Bible, and disciple others based on what I know about God and the Bible. I hope to be able to train and raise up leaders regardless of the circumstances I find myself in. As a married man, I also need to have a job where travel is minimal. Before getting married my wife and I agreed that I would not travel away from home more than five days a month.
3. My Past Life Circumstances
One of my heroes is Steve Elliott. Steve is a semi-retired pastor who has worked hard to be a loyal husband, build God’s kingdom, and keep growing in his faith and ways of doing ministry. An important element of my past life circumstances has been being mentored and coached by Steve Elliott for six years. If I have the impact Steve has when I am his age I will be grateful and consider my work a success in the eyes of God.
Another way my life has been marked is when I was attempting to lead a nonprofit program that served people in need by delivering baskets of food for Thanksgiving. That work forced me to be a leader, and as a result, I began to read leadership books, attend conferences, and be mentored by Steve in the area of leadership.
4. My Past and Current Situations/Positions in Ministry
My past job at United Way exposed me to many different job situations and industries. One thing that I have learned from these interactions is that I am not made for the “business for profit” world. I was able to see the “for profit” part of businesses and that has been a big turn off for me and caused me to want to stick to the nonprofit industry.
B. My Direction
1. My Ministry Mission
My ministry mission is to make leaders of everyday men and women. This came to me as I was sitting in a training in 2009 about how to lead a small group men’s Bible study. I was in the training because I was going to start a men’s Bible study focused on bringing men together to study leadership from the Bible.
2. My Ministry Vision
My ministry vision is to be in a place where I get to actively lead people while also teaching leadership (hopefully from a biblical perspective). One way to live out this vision is to lead a program at a nonprofit ministry while also being able to teach Bible studies and leadership material to clients. Another way is to work at a church where I could be responsible for a ministry and teach leadership there as part of my job. Perhaps I could lead as an executive director of a nonprofit while also teaching leadership through my blog, books, etc.
C. My Development as a Leader
1. Character: Who will I need to be to lead well in an organization?
I need to be confident in my abilities as a leader. One thing that I know I need to improve on is not taking myself too seriously and not being offended easily.
2. Knowledge: What will I need to know to lead well?
This is an area I do well in. I know a lot about leadership because I have read books, attended several conferences, and been mentored in leadership. Yet, I need to know more about technical things though such as hiring laws, accounting practices, and tax regulations.
3. Skills: What will I need to be able to do?
I need to learn to train employees and raise up leaders. I see this occurring in several ways: 1) Trainings in groups such as a workshop or staff meeting; 2) Writing material to instruct people; and 3) Mentoring someone in the area of leadership.
4. Emotional: What should I feel to lead in my ministry?
I should feel competent at being a leader and secure as a leader. I should not be easily offended as I am now. I need to be sure of my identity Christ as well as secure in my identity and capabilities as a leader.
5. Physical: What kind of physical aspects must I consider?
I need to eat water rich foods, exercise, and rest. I have a habit of drinking too much coffee and not getting enough sleep. To combat this I need to limit myself to only 1-2 cups of coffee a day preferably before 2pm, and I need to sleep a minimum of seven hours a night.
6. Where will I develop these competencies?
Two training venues are significant for my leadership development.
- The first is the one-on-one venue. This is defined by Aubrey Malphurs and Will Mancini in their book, Building Leaders, as “simply two individuals meeting in a relational environment, not in the ministry context, for training” (p. 166). As an introvert, this matches up best with me because it gives me the opportunities to develop a deep relationship with one person and ask specific questions about things I am wrestling with. Malphurs and Mancini contend that “[b]ecause one-on-one is relationship intensive, the opportunity for character and emotional development is also present.” I need to develop in the emotional area, and that requires me to have someone I am in close relationship with.
- I will also best develop as a leader in what Malphurs and Mancini call a “Learner-Driven” and “Self-Led” environment where “emerging leaders take responsibility for their own growth, so that the emerging leader is ultimately responsible for his or her own training” (p. 152). As an internally driven person this method of growth matches my personality well. Self-led growth tools I can use are books and tapes on leadership, making appointments to interview leaders, and attending conferences.
7. Who will serve as my mentor or coach?
My future internship supervisor, Tom Miller of Global Aid International Network (GAIN), has offered to “coach” me. Through this process I am hoping to work on my emotional competency as a strong leader and on my skills to teach leadership. Having Tom as a mentor and coach during the next year is important. I need someone that I can meet with, be close to, share my heart with, and who can train me as a leader.