Leading and Serving – training for church leadership teams

Folk sometimes ask how we train our church leadership teams. I have used the following booklet with various churches in a whole-day workshop.

It is here as an A5 booklet which I give to all participants. You are welcome to use or edit this in any ways you like, but acknowledging authorship would be nice.

Leading and serving A5 gunton

I also give people copies of the BU Guideline documents mentioned:

C17 Help I‟m a Charity Trustee

C18 Help I‟m a Deacon

Amongst other helpful Guidelines booklets you might also enjoy:

C19 Help I‟m a Church Secretary

C20 Help I‟m a Church Treasurer


This is the content of the workshops.

Gunton Baptist Church
Leaders Day 28th October 2011





10 am Welcome and worship

10.20   Session 1. Models for church leadership

11.15   Coffee

11.30   Session 2. Being Deacons and being Charity Trustees

12.30   Session 3. Responsibilities of church leaders

1 pm    Lunch

2          Session 4. Our Leadership Team – strengths and weaknesses

2.45     Session 5. Where do we go from here?

3.45     Tea

4.00     Communion and prayer

4.30     Close




Rev. Peter Thomas is minister of North Springfield Baptist Church.
He has been a minister for 25 years and has studied at Cambridge  (BA, MA, PGCE) and London Bible College (BA, MA). You can find sermons and studies including his future book on ministry and leadership online at www.pbthomas.com.

1. Models for Church Leadership


So we preach Christ to everyone. With all possible wisdom we warn and teach them in order to bring each one into God’s presence as a mature individual in union with Christ. To get this done I toil and struggle, using the mighty strength which Christ supplies and which is at work in me. (Col 1:28-29)








Paul’s example of ministry in 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12.










The Bible gives us many examples for ministry, leadership and pastoral care. In this session we will look at a number of passages and seek to apply them to our own situations as deacons and minister.


When it comes to your turn please be ready to read the passage (or key verses) to us and pick out one or two key points from it and suggest one or two specific ways in which you think the passage applies to our situation. We will only have two or three minutes each – so lengthy sermons are not required.


Role Models


  1. The Good Shepherd

    Psalm 23:1-6

    John 10:11, 14-15

  2. Setting a good example

    1 Corinthians 11:1

    1 Timothy 4:12

    Hebrews 13:7

  3. Masterbuilders            

    1 Corinthians 3:5-10

  4. Servants of all

    Mark 10:42-45

    Galatians 1:10

The tasks of leadership


  1. Keeping watch over the flock

    Acts 20:26-31

    Hebrews 13:17

  2. Building up the body

    Ephesians 4:11-16

  3. Sound teachers

    Titus 2:1-7

    2 Timothy 2:24-25

  4. Steering the ship

    Romans 12:8

    1 Timothy 5:17

Leadership and character


  1. Qualifications for elders

    Titus 1:6-9

  2. Qualifications for deacons

    1 Timothy 3:1-10

  3. With integrity

    2 Corinthians 4:1-5

    1 Timothy 6:11

    Acts 20: 32-35

  4. Through hardships

    2 Corinthians 6:3-11

    2 Corinthians 4:7-11

  5. Serving in God’s strength

    2 Timothy 1:6

Jesus’s example washing His disciples’ feet John 13:1-17


2. Being Deacons and being Charity Trustees


This session is based on the Guidelines booklets from the BU

C17 Help I‟m a Charity Trustee

C18 Help I‟m a Deacon


Amongst other helpful Guidelines booklets you might also enjoy:

C19 Help I‟m a Church Secretary

C20 Help I‟m a Church Treasurer


All these are on the website www.baptist.org.uk/resources/downloads


3. Responsibilities of Church Leaders


The list below (1-15) comes from Paul Beasley-Murray’s book Dynamic Leadership. It is his list of responsibilities which Church Leaders should share with the minister. It is followed by five core responsibilities of charity trustees

Tasks as Deacons


  1. Visiting. Calling on members in their homes: eg, the sick, the widowed, members of one’s fellowship group, etc.
  2. Leading in public prayer. At the Communion Table, but also taking an active role in prayer meetings of all kinds.
  3. Counselling. As ‘elder'(!) statesmen, counselling individuals on personal and spiritual problems.
  4. Teaching. Involvement not only in leading fellowship groups, but also in (specialist) groups.
  5. Supporting activity leaders. Taking an active interest in the Sunday school and other organisations. Listening to the leaders and encouraging them in their work.
  6. Leadership. Seeing visions and dreaming dreams; producing ideas and showing initiative; setting the pace with the pastor.
  7. Administration. A management team, looking after the day-to-day business of the church, freeing the minister for ministry.
  8. Supporting members in ‘full-time’ service. Not leaving ongoing support to particular interest groups, but taking a special responsibility for those we have set apart.
  9. Practical service. Seeing to the practical needs of the building and of the fellowship — ‘doers’.
  10. Representation. Representing the various age and interest groups in the church, so that the leadership automatically has the finger on the pulse of the church.
  11. Interviewing. Interviewing people for membership, and then maintaining an ongoing pastoral brief for them.
  12. Wider church responsibilities. Representing the church on various ecumenical and denominational committees.
  13. Caring for the minister and his family. Exercising pastoral care for a family which otherwise might not be cared for.
  14. BEING a man or woman of God in personal discipleship and spirituality, and setting an example.
  15. BEING men and women of God together in fellowship and prayer, and setting an example.

Tasks as Charity Trustees

  1. Managing the finances of the church, including accounts, budget and reserves policy,
  2. Taking care of the fabric of the church: church buildings, manse, equipment etc
  3. Overseeing all the activities of the church, with ultimate responsibility for them
  4. Responsibility for policies: child protection, health and safety, equality, charity law etc
  5. Responsibility as employers for any staff, and caring for the minister


EXERCISE   Against each of the tasks 1-20 put a score as follows:

3 – any task you are good at or spend lots of time on;

2 – any task you are not very good at or don’t spend much time on;

1 – any task you spend no time at all on.

Finally, put a star against the THREE most important tasks.

For reference – Elders and Deacons


Some Churches make a distinction between the “spiritual” activities of church leadership entrusted to Minister and ELDERS and the practical aspects of church life directed by DEACONS. One church divides the responsibilities of leadership in the following ways.

The Elders:

DIRECTION of the church, vision building, prayer life;
SERVICES, timings, worship styles, teaching, special services;
HOMEGROUPS oversight, selecting leaders, study materials;
PASTORAL CARE of members, congregation and contacts;

CHURCH DISCIPLINE, recommending additions and deletions;

RELATIONSHIPS with other churches;

STAFF: workload and use of ministry time, pastoral care of staff.

The Deacons:

FINANCE, fundraising, special projects, mission support, administration of finance;
PREMISES, maintenance, finance, permission for use, Health and Safety, cleaners;
EQUIPMENT, maintenance, development, finance;

ADULT ORGANISATIONS, leadership, patterns of activities, seasonal events etc;
YOUTH ORGANISATIONS, leadership, patterns of activities: Family Church, Youth Events and activities, Preschool;



The Elders and Deacons together:

MAJOR developments in any areas of the life of the church;

MAJOR long term strategy;

SELECTING STAFF: Minister and others

EVANGELISM strategy, events and activities.


Church Officers, Secretary and Treasurer also have specific personal responsibilities in some of the areas above.


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