Developing the Leaders Around You
by John Maxwell
to Pastor Study by Josh Hunt
I believe the gospel and the church is the hope of the
world. All other sources of hope are lacking without the church. In order for
the church to be effective, we need to continually improve in a thousand
different areas. One of those areas is our own leadership and our ability to
raise up leaders around us. I would challenge you specifically to train up group
leaders who can double every two years or less. I appreciate your participation
in this study. It tells me you are willing to grow and learn. I would invite you
to invite others to this study. Treat it as a Sunday School class. Invite
people, grow the group, and reproduce.
would like each of you to share your name and what is your greatest ministry
challenge. (Or one ministry challenge you have at this time.)
is the main thing you would like to get out of this study?
John Maxwell begins the book by talking about his admiration for John Wooden
and Bear Bryant. Who are some leaders you have admired and why?
page 2 Maxwell says that all good leaders have one thing in common. What is
it? Do you agree?
- The bottom line and the essential message of this
book is that you can't do it alone. Why do we need to be reminded of this?
Why the temptation to ever think that we could do it alone?
- Are you
ever tempted to believe you can do it alone, that developing the leaders
around you is not all that important? Are you ever tempted to believe that
you can do it alone?
- Imagine with me that your dreams in being able
to develop leaders are realized. Let's imagine that you learn these skills
well. Let's imagine that God blesses. Where will you and your church be a
year from now, or five years from now-best case scenario?
- What would
you say are the major obstacles to seeing this dream become a reality?(2)
The key is surrounding yourself with the best people and developing them
into the best leaders they can be. Which of these tasks is more important:
finding or developing leaders?(3)
According to John Maxwell, what determines success? Do you agree? Why? See
- Who are the four to six people closest to you in your
organization right now? What are you doing to develop them?
explain the illustration of the fire and the two buckets. Page 4.
Who can tell about a time when you saw this principle lived out-when a
leader in your organization (or yourself) made a problem better or worse by
- When John Maxwell came to Skyline Wesleyan Church, it
had been in a 12-year plateau. The first thing he did was ask why. Most
churches in America are also in plateau. I want to ask you the same
question: why are most churches in America on plateau?
- In John
Maxwell's opinion, it is not the implementation of any certain program or
adopting any particular approach to ministry that makes the difference. The
key is leadership ability. For Rick Warren, this leadership ability is
expressed in one kind of church. For John MacArthur, it expresses itself in
a very different kind of church. In both cases, the key is leadership. In
both cases the churches are alive and healthy. Do you agree with this
premise that leadership matters more than philosophy of ministry?
what ways would you and the leaders in your church need to change in order
to double in size? Be specific. Let's make a list on the board.
can we learn from geese about teamwork? See page 8.
- John Maxwell
says it takes a leader to grow a leader. Do you agree? Did you grow alone,
or did some leader (or leaders) help grow you up?
- John Maxwell says
he concentrates his effort in developing leaders on his board. Where would
you concentrate your effort?(4)
- Why is it important to you to develop the leaders around
- What benefits will you gain by developing the leaders around
- What price will you pay for developing the leaders around you?
What price will you pay if you don't develop the leaders around you?
Who (in terms of function, not name) are the leaders you would seek to
- If you could live
in any climate on planet earth, what would it be?
What is the difference between a thermometer and a thermostat, and how does
that relate to leadership?
- Why is momentum so important to an
- How would you describe the momentum at your church (or
lack of) right now?
- Who can tell about a time when you were caught
up in a swift growth momentum?
- What does it take to create momentum?
What does it take to sustain momentum?
- What puts the skids on
- John Maxwell says that those who believe in us create an
atmosphere where it becomes easy for us to succeed. Who in your life
believed in you, making it easy for you to succeed?
- Do you find it
easy to believe in the people in your organization?
- Do you believe
your small group leaders can double every two years or less? Do you believe
you have some that can do that?
- Why is it important to us that
someone believes in us? What does the faith of another do for me?
What if this faith is misplaced? What if we believe in people who can't
perform? Is this an equally problematic situation?
- Can you believe
in people too much? Can this be overdone?
- How do we develop the
capacity to believe in others?
- Does our faith in God have anything
to do with our faith in others?
- How do we communicate our faith in
others to them? How do the people we would develop come to understand and
feel that we believe in them? Be specific. Let's make a list on the board.
Who can tell about a time when your faith in someone seemed to help them
- Besides our faith in them, what else makes up the climate
where the leaders around us can grow?
- Why is vision important to
developing the leaders around you?
- Describe your vision for your
church. I would like each of you to share.
- Why do you need to
develop leaders in order to accomplish that vision?
- What are the
advantages of having a big dream?
- One quality of leadership that
John Maxwell learned from Bennis and Nanus is that leaders are perpetual
learners. Why is this so?
- Would you describe yourself as a
perceptual learner? Do you love learning? What are the advantages of being a
- John Maxwell closes this chapter with a couple of
illustrations from the sports world about the impact of beliefs and
atmosphere on success. Does anyone remember these illustrations?
you believe you and your church can make a significant difference in this
world? Be honest. Why do you believe? What keeps you from believing more?
Would you join me in praying and asking God to "Help us with our unbelief"?
Let's pray together that God would give us a strong confidence in his
ability to work through us and the people he has called us to serve.
1. The goal of this chapter is to establish the priority of developing the
leaders around you.
2. Listen for two kinds of
answers: one that has to do the people in the room and other answers that deal
with people outside this room. You might want to explore the whole idea of
taking responsibility for your life. This is an important first step. There is a
tendency to think, "If better people would come to this church, I would be a
better pastor. I could be a great leader if it weren't for these sorry people."
3. In my opinion, you could make a case for either thing. As coach of 5th
grade boys, I always thought the most important thing I could do was recruit
good talent. The right boys would do magic on the court with no coaching at all.
If you had kids that couldn't bounce the ball without dribbling on their foot,
it was hard to coach them into glory. The point of the question is not so much
to find an answer as to get in touch with the two issues.
4. I would invite to concentrate some effort into Sunday School (or small
home group leaders; I use the terms interchangeably and believe the concepts
have much in common) teachers who could reproduce every two years or less.
5. My meaning is, do you seek to develop your board, your Sunday School
teachers (or small group leaders), your deacons or whom?
6. The goal of this chapter is to establish the principle that we must
believe in people in order for them to succeed. Our faith in them creates the
atmosphere in which they can grow.