There is no doubt the pandemic changed everything including churches as I wrote about specifically in the book, Being the Church in the Post-Pandemic World: Game Changers for the Post-Pandemic Church. How people engage in the life of the church as attenders, volunteers, and leadership is no exception.

Among other things, the years 2021 and 2022 will go down in history as being known as the Great Resignation or the Great Reshuffle when more than 45 million employees left their jobs each year. These employees changed companies, changed professions, left the workforce, or moved from the for-profit sector to the nonprofit sector. People report seeking better pay and/or benefits, more opportunity for advancement, a healthier work environment or office culture, more meaningful work, more flexibility, and childcare issues.

Working with churches and leaders across the country, one consistent message heard is how frustrating it can be to find people who are willing to step into church leadership. Many churches are having to rebuild committees and teams post-COVID, but the leaders are reluctant to commit. Here are some reasons I believe this is the case:

Once these shifts are made, leaders will be much more likely to step up and commit. This is much more of the kind of environment they desire to serve in and will be able to clearly see how an impact is possible.

“Growing other leaders from the ranks isn’t just the duty of the leader, it’s an obligation.”

Warren Bennis

Next, begin practicing accountable leadership at all levels. Accountable leadership keeps leaders on track, in their respective lanes, aligns resources, and helps keep leaders’ eyes on the purpose of the organization. To ultimately grow and empower leaders, embrace the accountable leadership model through these three simple steps:

  1. Responsibility. Empower leaders to make decisions, lead ministries, complete tasks,
    and perform duties within clearly identified healthy boundaries.
  2. Authority. Give leaders the power to provide direction or make decisions within their
    area of ministry.
  3. Accountability. Invite leaders to commit to their areas of responsibility and authority
    and be held amenable. Check in on their progress. Offer constructive feedback and
    consequences.

While the steps are simple, they are not easy. Accountable leadership is not something most churches have commonly practiced. It will take some time, course correction, patience, consistency, and maybe even some outside coaching to fully adopt this new form and culture of leadership. However, churches who adopt this accountable leadership find it to be life-giving, effective, efficient, empowering, and much more missionally focused. For a video demo of practicing accountable leadership at the board level, click here.