Defining Your Leadership Pipeline

When someone first steps into leadership what should they focus on learning?  There are dozens of possibilities.  As a mentor I don’t want to frustrate a new leader by having them focus on things that are too advanced or even too simple.  However, it’s important that I provide a Learning Pathway that makes sense and helps them progress in their ability to lead at the next level.  One of the exercises we did as a leadership team while I was at Seacoast was to identify the competencies we felt were most important at each level of our leadership pipeline.  Below you will find what we came up with.  Also if you click HERE (Leading Others Mentoring Guide) you can download a sample of one of the Leadership Greenhouse Guides we developed for our leaders to mentor their leaders.

The list for your organization will be different than ours, so I encourage you to gather your Lead team, identify the levels of your leadership pipeline and then define the competencies that are most important to you for each level.  This is a great exercise that will force your team to decide what leadership behaviors are most important in your origination.  You’ll also discover this list will provide a framework not only for training but for hiring, promoting and evaluating employees.  Just remember when you sit down to develop the list it will take more than one meeting.  Don’t rush it, going through the process is just as valuable as having the final list of core competencies.


  • Managing Your Time
  • Setting Personal Goals
  • Improving Personal Communication
  • Managing Your Personal Resources
  • Dealing with Conflict
  • Leading with Your Strengths
  • Submitting to Authority


  • Casting Vision
  • Managing Others’ Goals
  • Recruiting Volunteers
  • Giving Soul Care
  • Practicing 360 Communication
  • Resolving Conflict
  • Aligning People


  • Evaluating
  • Motivating Others
  • Managing Budgets
  • Team Building
  • Decision Making
  • Leading Meetings
  • Applying Situational Leadership


  • Persevering in Difficulties
  • Evaluating Systems
  • Building Morale
  • Employee Engagement
  • Hiring, Firing and Repositioning Talent
  • Mentoring Leaders
  • Focusing


  • Establishing Organizational Value
  • Forecasting the Future
  • Managing the Leadership Pipeline
  • Taking Risks
  • Inspiring Others
  • Succession Planning
  • Practicing Execution

If you would like help in building a fully functional leadership pipeline at your church with Mac Lake, let us know.

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Mac Lake

Mac Lake

I am the Chief Launch Officer of The Launch Network, a new church planting network based out of West Ridge Church in the greater Atlanta, Georgia area. My role is to get The Launch Network up and running, networking with churches and planters to establish healthy church starts across the U.S. and the world. Our goal is to plant 1000 churches in the next 10 years. My passion is growing leaders for the local church. Every time I hear Bill Hybels say “The local church is the hope of the world” my heart comes out of my chest and it increases my sense of urgency for developing leaders who produce leaders.

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Recent Comments
I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston
In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
— Russ Wright
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
— Ken

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