Increasingly churches are discovering that the strength of their congregation is directly related to the skill and maturity of their leaders. Simply filling open slots from the membership list based on regular attendance is insufficient for producing good leadership.

Several churches are discovering the value of training future leaders by developing their own Leadership Learning Community (LLC). The idea is based on the region’s LLC ministry among pastors. Core church leadership concepts are taught through a monthly gathering of potential leaders. The invitation to participate may be opened to all who are interested in developing their leadership skills. The leader chooses a book, or curriculum, on an important church issue.

Everyone agrees to study the resource in advance. During the gathering the participants review the content, wrestle with questions that arise, and make concrete plans for applying the concepts learned. The local LLC serves as a pool from which ministry leaders and board members are recruited.

Recommended books for lay leader LLCs include these selections from 2016’s Reading List for pastors:

  • Organic Outreach for Churches: Infusing Evangelistic Passion Into Your Congregation by Kevin Harney
  • U-Turn Church: New Direction for Health and Growth by Kevin Harney and Bob Bouwer
  • Pursuing God’s Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups by Ruth Haley Barton
  • Emotionally Healthy Leaders: How Transforming Your Inner Life Will Deeply Transform Your Church, Team, and the World by Peter Scazzero

More books and resources from previous years may be found at Click on the “Reading List” links.