One Sure Way to Attract Leaders

by | Feb 12, 2020 | Church Revitalization, Small Church / Rural Church

I learned in church revitalization that many times entrepreneurial type leaders disappear when things aren’t working well. People who like big visions and want to see progress around them don’t hang around when the church is holding on to the status quo.

If the church wants to argue about paint color the real leaders will often find another place to serve. (Unfortunately, it might be in the church and it might not be.) These leaders aren’t as interested in the maintenance mode of organizational life.

Consequently, when I have entered a church needing revitalization, I find there are fewer small business owners, CEO’s, and civic or community leaders. (And that’s why I usually go into the community looking for them. It’s hard to move things forward without visionary, risk-taking leaders.)

This is true in attracting new staff members also. The ones you often need to turn things around – innovative, creative, energetic, visionary, leaders – are hesitant to come to a plateaued or declining church.

One frequent question I receive from those trying to do church revitalization is how they can attract new leaders.

Great question.

I have a simple solution. In my opinion, this is the number one principle for attracting leaders – to any organization.

Give people a problem to solve.

Hand out visions more than you hand out tasks. Tell people where you want to go, but let them know you haven’t yet figured out how to get there.

(Side note, I tell my wife this when she wants me to go shopping with her. Give me a challenge. “I need a blue blouse and haven’t found one anywhere.” I’m on it!)

Here’s the deal. If the answer is already found, you can hire a manager for the job – and you’ll likely want and need a good one. You’ll have other problems to solve and a good manager can free you up to lead. (We need good managers.)

But to attract a leader…

Help them see a need, give them some freedom to find a solution, make sure they are supported as needed, but then get out of the way. Let them go. Allow them to actually lead something.

Leaders seek opportunities to lead.

Challenge, opportunity, problems, something everyone says can’t be done – those type environments fuel a leader’s energy. It’s what will attract leaders to your team.

Are you in an environment that attracts leaders? What do you think makes it so? What doesn’t?

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Ron Edmondson

I am CEO of Leadership Network. I was previously pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church, a church leader and the planter of two churches. I am passionate about planting churches but also helping established churches thrive. I love assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy, and life. My specialty is organizational leadership, so in addition to my role as a pastor, as I have time, I consult with church and ministry leaders. I have more than 35 years of leadership experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and have been in full-time ministry for over 15 years. I have successfully led the restart of one church and the planting of two churches, and now we are seeing God’s hand tremendously in church revitalization. I have a seminary masters and a master’s in organizational leadership. I also once helped lead (as an elected official) a mid-sized city, where I served as Vice Mayor and Finance Chair. The greatest times for me are with my wife Cheryl and our amazing adult sons, Jeremy, his wife Mary, and our youngest son Nate. Over 20 years ago, I founded a non-profit ministry called Mustard Seed Ministry, which provides devotional resources, conducts family, marriage, and parenting, and church leadership seminars. My INTJ personality on the Myers-Briggs indicator means I have big ideas, I love creative and critical thinking and I love to see progress. I am usually around people but crave downtime. For years I was usually training for either a half or full marathon. Running was my most productive thinking time. Knee problems in recent years have caused me to stop running, but I’m committed to finding the time I need to fuel my mind, body, and spirit. I write several times weekly on leadership, church, and family. To sign up for my blog on a reader or by email, click HERE. I do interact with my readers, so feel free to contact me. You can email me at am also on Google+ at, Twitter at and Facebook at My devotional site is