Top 5 Reasons Shared Leadership is Good for Your Church

Shared Leadership at work in church. Image curtesy of

Shared Leadership is a model for governance, decision making, and power for congregations that seeks balance between pastors, staff, and lay leaders. It can take many forms in boards or councils, but more importantly, prominent in the culture. Here are 5 benefits of shared leadership for your church:

1. A shared leadership culture is open more varieties of opinions, collaboration, and innovation. This can also mean there is less anxiety and more trust.
A congregational culture that embraces shared leadership puts value and worth on participation, giving voice, and the role of members in the ministry in a new way. This participative nature can include an empowering openness to new ideas, to conversations of discernment and decision making. It often requires articulation of beliefs and goals to unify leadership.
2. Shared leadership helps pastors prevent burnout by sharing responsibility

“When we all pitch it in, it makes the work lighter,” grandma used to say. When the burden and blessing of leadership is shared, there is grace and lightness. Clergy alone need not carry worries and troubles, responsibilities and obligations of leadership. Other leaders are welcome to share in the work of leadership and walk with a pastor in the carrying the leadership load. This can help with life balance, anxiety, depression, exhaustion and well-being of pastors.

3. Participating in shared leadership is disciple-making.

If our church is about deepening faith of God’s people and leveraging their gifts and skills for service in God’s world, shared leadership is a great method to do that. Learning how to lead, being invested in the ministry in a deep way, helping shape the future of the congregation are all fantastic ways to create disciples.

4. Shared leadership can create energy, engagement and foster relationships in a church.

A team of highly engaged leaders who are excited about ministry and the opportunity to serve the church is a related to congregational health and vitality. New relationships are formed, collaboration with staff across ministries occurs, silos disappear. Shared leadership is a vehicle for increased energy and vitality of the congregation.

5. Maturity and leadership competence in lay leaders is a good thing, especially in preparation for times of pastoral transition.

Shared leadership can bring with it competencies for staff and lay leaders that can help move the stability of the church to rest on the laity instead of the pastoral staff. Even-keeled, calm and mature leadership even through pastoral transitions is a great gift for God’s people. Imagine the impact we can have for God’s work in the world. Connect with us to learn more about Shared Leadership.

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