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As ministry leaders and pastors, we strive to create a culture of diversity where all members of our congregation can feel seen, heard, and valued. However, creating a truly unified community requires more than just preaching from the pulpit or offering kind words of welcome. It also requires a commitment to diversity within your very leadership.

In recent years, the importance of diversity in leadership has gained increased attention in the business world. Studies have shown that diverse teams outperform homogeneous ones, bringing a wider range of perspectives, ideas, and experiences to the table. These benefits extend beyond the bottom line, as diverse teams also tend to foster greater creativity, innovation, and employee engagement.

What research has proven true in the business world also hold true in the context of church leadership. When we learn to diversify our leadership intentionally, we open the door to a wider range of voices and perspectives. This, in turn, can lead to a more vibrant, engaged, and thriving community.

But what does diversity in church leadership look like? 

It goes beyond simply having a few people of different ethnicities or genders in positions of power. It involves intentionally seeking out and elevating leaders who represent a range of ages, abilities, and perspectives. It makes space for new voices to be heard.

Practically speaking, there are a few strategies we can use to promote inclusivity and diversity in church leadership roles:

  1. Start with a commitment to diversity. This means actively seeking out and promoting leaders from underrepresented groups. It also means acknowledging and addressing any biases or blind spots that may be preventing you from seeing the full range of potential leaders in your community.
  2. Expand your leadership pipeline. Look beyond your current leadership team and consider ways to bring new voices into the fold. This might involve reaching out to young adults, people with disabilities, or those from different socioeconomic backgrounds.
  3. Offer leadership training and mentorship opportunities. Many people may have the potential to be great leaders, but lack the skills or support they need to succeed. Offering training and mentorship opportunities can help build a stronger and more diverse leadership pipeline.
  4. Foster a culture of support. Finally, it’s important to create a culture where all members of the community feel valued and supported. This might involve offering language translation services, making physical accommodations for people with disabilities, or actively seeking out feedback from members of underrepresented groups.

Diversity in leadership is not just a nice-to-have; it’s a necessity for building thriving and inclusive communities. It’s going to be a game-changer for the growth and innovation of your church.
But even with the best of intentions, putting diversity into practice can be a delicate challenge. We want to equip you with tools and resources to do this in a way that will resonate with your team and not create harm.

Reach out to us at Multiply Group if you’re looking for someone to equip you in the best way to grow the diversity in your leadership.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Mac Lake Online on April 27, 2023. Used with permission.

I had the honor of serving as the Senior Pastor for seven wonderful years. However, God began to burden my heart with a new focus on Leadership Development. In 2004, a lunch meeting with Greg Surratt, the Senior Pastor at Seacoast Church, led to an invitation to join the Seacoast Staff and assist in developing leaders for their multi-site movement. For nearly seven years, I served as the Leadership Development Pastor at Seacoast Church before I felt the call to initiate The Launch Network.

As I led The Launch Network for four years, my team and I eventually changed its name to The Multiply Group. We shifted our focus to serving Church Planting Organizations. In early 2015, a divine prompting from God led Brian Bloye, the founder of Launch, and me to give The Multiply Group to the North American Mission Board. This transition allowed our system to be utilized in assessing and training church planters, benefitting various networks and denominations in their church planting endeavors.

My passion has always centered around cultivating and nurturing leaders for the local church.

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