Leadership

Best Free Church Leadership Training Materials 2022

Leadership is the ability to influence others towards accomplishing a common goal. In the following guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best resources available–including podcasts, video teaching, and more–from some of the most effective leaders in ministry today.

H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Leadership is the ability to influence others towards accomplishing a common goal. 

In a church setting, this might look like congregants that disciple their peers, coworkers, and family members. It can also look like one church member holding another church member accountable for a spiritual discipline or purity. 

Or it can look like church ministry leaders that lead successful ministries with plenty of buy-in. 

While leadership may come easier to some than to others, leadership training can help equip everyone on staff to be more productive, effective, and fulfilled. The good news? In 2022, leadership training resources are abundant...and often free.

In the following guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best resources available–including podcasts, video teaching, and more–from some of the most effective leaders in ministry today. These resources not only outline principles of church leadership; they offer insights for key church leaders to become more qualified people to do their jobs well. 

Table of Contents

 Leadership Resources for Christian Church Ministry Leaders

Free is Good, But You Still Need a Budget

Top Free Leadership Training Materials for Churches

Blogs

Podcasts

YouTube

Assessments

Church Leadership Training FAQs

Leadership Resources for Christian Church Ministry Leaders

Leadership resources for Christian ministry leaders typically have a different focus than resources that are specifically designed for business leaders. The foundation for an authentically Christian training resource is always Christ. His life, His teaching, and His sacrifice are foundational to being an authentic, God-centered leader–whether that’s in Church, in the marketplace, or at home. 

That being said, “servant leadership” has become a popular term even among secular circles. And with good reason: People respond well to leaders who show humility, and who seem to have their best interest in mind. 

Models of leadership training may vary, but the functions of leadership remain the same: to help others become leaders themselves, to lead others by example, and to serve. 

Free is Good, But You Still Need a Budget

The good news is that many of the most effective leaders in Christian ministry give away resources for free. They’re willing to share their insights and wisdom at no cost, and want everyone to have an opportunity to learn and grow, regardless of their budget. 

However, having a budget for leadership training is wise. You may want to purchase additional resources, like workbooks or printed resources. You may even want to host a training with a catered lunch or paid speaker. You may want to take a retreat to focus on leadership training. Or you may even want to draw on paid resources to develop your own school of ministry curriculum. 

Remember that investing your resources into something as valuable as leadership training will help you see high return. Your leaders will improve at their roles and feel more equipped to fulfill their callings. And your staff will thank you for investing into their personal and professional growth.

Top Free Leadership Training Materials for Churches

When you Google “free leadership training materials for Christians” you get 210 million results. That’s a lot to filter, especially when you consider how many people might attach the word “Christian” to materials and content that aren’t Scripturally sound. 

That’s why we’ve done the hard work of vetting materials for you. Below, you’ll discover the top free leadership training materials for churches, including the blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, and assessments that can help your church staff become more effective leaders. These materials can help future church leaders, current ministry team leaders, and even an entire team of leaders become more strategic and insightful in the way they guide and influence others. 

Blogs

Blogs are excellent, typically free resources for diving deep into leadership concepts taught by thought leaders in ministry. Many influencers in the leadership space write articles for leaders in the form of blog posts. 

While you can quickly skim individual blogs to pick up information, it’s also helpful to take the time to read through an entire blog series. More than any other medium, a blog provides the opportunity for leaders to dive deep into reflection on leadership (It’s also an easy way to grab free shareable, written content on leadership).

Carey Nieuwhof writes about church leadership

Carey Nieuwhof is a pastor and former lawyer who focuses specifically on leadership. Carey’s goal is to empower ministry leaders and those with high-responsibility roles with practical strategies for becoming more joyful and less stressed. He focuses on specific goals within ministry, such as becoming a better teacher, motivating your team, or reaching the lost. 

Carey’s blog is divided into categories such as “Productivity,” “Church Growth,” and “Communication and Preaching.” His articles–typically written as lists–provide helpful steps for reaching goals or following a specific process.

Open Network from Life.Church

 Open Network from Life.Church is packed with video resources that are paired up with articles. Their content is extremely relevant and addresses topics such as engaging Gen Z, creating excellent social media, and giving feedback. Much of their content is sourced from Hillsong, the Australian megachurch that’s made inroads into celebrity culture with congregants such as Justin Bieber and Nick Jonas.

Courage to Lead (https://www.couragetolead.com/courage-to-lead-blog/)

Courage to Lead is led by Shawn Lovejoy, a pastor, former CEO, and real estate developer. Because Lovejoy has extensive experience across multiple industries, he brings rich insight to his blog, which brings a problem-solution approach to leadership. Blogs such as “3 Reasons Organizations Stop Growing” help pastors and ministry leaders to target and resolve hindrances to ministry growth in practical ways. 

Podcasts

Podcasts have become increasingly popular, with learners looking for engaging content they can listen to on the go. In 2021, there were over 48 million podcast episodes in existence, and every day that number continues to grow. 

Podcasts can be wonderful church leadership resources for those who appreciate authentic, conversational-style content and real interaction. One of the benefits of podcasts is that they are a great way to absorb information in the car, on a trip, or on a walk with the kids–perfect for busy parents and families. This aspect of podcasts is also helpful for those who are auditory learners.

Craig Groeschel’s Leadership Podcast

Craig Groeschel is the pastor of Life.Church, a megachurch with multiple sites all over the United States. Craig’s podcast often addresses a leadership mindset, discussing topics such as maintaining vision, learning forgiveness, exploring motivation, and more. He interviews other industry leaders, such as Carey Nieuwhof, Paula Faris, and Lysa TerKeurst.

Andy Stanley’s Leadership Podcast

Andy Stanley is an author, pastor, and thought leader in the area of leadership. His podcast draws from the marketplace as well as the Church, as Stanley interviews effective people such as the CEO of UPS, Carol Tomé. Expect pragmatic advice that could be applied to businesses organizations as well as churches.

Carey Nieuwhof’s Leadership Podcast

On Carey Nieuwhof’s leadership podcast, he interviews people ranging from Rick Warren of Saddleback Church to Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child. The common goal? Tell the stories of people who have overcome challenges, left powerful legacies, and know how to lead with grace.

Josh Gagnon’s Leadership Podcast

Joshua Gagnon is the lead pastor of one of the fastest-growing church movements in America. On his leadership podcast, he provides Christian leadership training material that empowers and equips listeners to lead better.

YouTube

There’s a good reason that video content has become standard for teaching, learning, and entertaining–it combines both visual and auditory elements to create a more effective, engaging experience for viewers. 

In 2022, there are plenty of video resources for training church leaders on effective leadership. These come in a range of video styles, with a range of perspectives from leaders in ministry–some of them educated in Bible schools, others with experience in secular models of business.

Mac Lake’s YouTube Channel

Mac Lake draws on his background in ministry and church planting to create effective leadership training material for current leaders, future leaders, and middle level leaders. His YouTube channel–packed with in-depth, highly practical  focuses specifically on his “leadership pipeline,” a strategic process for training leaders at every level on true leadership skills.

Lake's style of leadership is ideal for online church leaders who want to learn how to build a platform for greater influence.

John Maxwell’s YouTube Channel

John Maxell was voted the most popular leadership expert in the entire world by Inc. magazine–and with good reason. This key leader has positioned himself in the leadership space by authoring more than 70 books on leadership. They have helped readers all over the world become more effective people, develop basic skills, and learn key leadership principles such as starting small and addressing blind spots.

Maxwell's style of leadership is no-nonsense and straightforward–perfect for all types of leaders.

TEDx Talks on Leadership

Tedx is a great resource for those looking to develop a leadership style that’s powerful, effective, and well-informed. Tedx Talks specialize in offering surprising insights and new ways of thinking–perfect for learners who want to explore something a little different in the leadership space.

YouTube Playlist Focused on Church Leadership Development

Finally, YouTube’s channel on Church Leadership Development collects the top some of the top church leadership resources into a single playlist. Current leaders such as Mark Batterson of National Community Church and inspirational speeaker Simon Sinek offer their best advice and wisdom to aspiring and future leaders.

Assessments

Don't overlook personal assessments as a resource for training! More than an identification of core values or even their “accidental values” (values that aren’t intentional), personal assessments help people understand their own personalities and tendencies. 

Personality assessments are not explicitly Christian leadership training material, but they can help church staff and pastoral staff get a better understanding of how to improve.

The Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment

The Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment was designed to help takers understand their personalities on four different levels: extroversion/introversion, intuitive/sensing, feeling/thinking, and judging/perceiving. The basic idea is to help takers understand how they absorb and respond to information, how they process, and how they feed off interaction with others. 
For a staff person or key leader in the church, the Myers-Briggs can offer both powerful insight into personal behavior as well as the behavior and modus operandi of their fellow church staff.  

Leadership Style Assessments

The Leadership Style Assessment assesses specific behaviors and preferences in a professional setting. This review can help test-takers–and their leaders–understand how they behave at work, whether that’s church or an office.

The DISC Personality Profile

The DISC test is a popular assessment that funnels test-takers into one of four categories: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness. Like the Myers-Briggs assessment and Leadership Style assessment, the DISC test is not based on Bible models. Still, it can be an incredibly helpful too for helping staff and even laypeople step into their congregational roles with more insight and effectiveness.

Church Leadership Training FAQs 

How do you Build a Church Leadership Team?

What is Effective Church Leadership?

What is the Purpose of Church Leadership?

How do you Develop Leadership in Ministry?

How do you Build a Church Leadership Team?

Building a church leadership team isn’t an overnight task. It’s a long process that requires patience, grace, and insight. Most importantly, it requires the help of the Holy Spirit! That being said, you can help encourage growth and improvement with resources and tools, without a major time investment. 

What is Effective Church Leadership?

Effective church leadership is leadership that ultimately empowers both church staff and congregants to be more like Jesus, to have fruitful lives, and to advance the Kingdom of God in their respective spheres of influence.

What is the Purpose of Church Leadership?

The purpose of church leadership is to help people grow in their relationships with Jesus. Godly church leadership is the product of the core values of the Bible, including forgiveness, grace, obedience, love, and good stewardship. 

Ultimately, the purpose of church leadership is to help bring Christ-centered transformation to individuals and communities. That might look like a staff person becoming a good leader in their respective role. Or it could look like the flourishing of church planting ministries, bringing the message of Christ to people across geographic and demographic lines.

How do you Develop Leadership in Ministry?

In these uncertain times, it can feel difficult to develop leadership in ministry. Challenges to mental health and uncertainty about the economy and safety have unfortunately become the status quo–adding a layer of challenge and complexity to training church staff. 

One of the best ways to develop leadership in ministry in this insecure time is to use Christian leadership training material, including online courses, to train pastoral staff and other church leaders. Church leaders can benefit from podcasts, articles for leaders, videos, and assessments in more ways than one: Becoming both better leaders and more effective people overall.

podcast transcript

(Scroll for more)

H1 What’s a Rich Text element?

H2 What’s a Rich Text element?

H3 What’s a Rich Text element?

H4 What’s a Rich Text element?

H5 What’s a Rich Text element?
H6 What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

H4 Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

H4 How to customize formatting for each rich text

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

  • List Item 1
  • List Item 2
  • List Item 3

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

Blog

Best Free Church Leadership Training Materials 2022

Best Free Church Leadership Training Materials 2022

Leadership is the ability to influence others towards accomplishing a common goal. In the following guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best resources available–including podcasts, video teaching, and more–from some of the most effective leaders in ministry today.

Show notes

Leadership is the ability to influence others towards accomplishing a common goal. 

In a church setting, this might look like congregants that disciple their peers, coworkers, and family members. It can also look like one church member holding another church member accountable for a spiritual discipline or purity. 

Or it can look like church ministry leaders that lead successful ministries with plenty of buy-in. 

While leadership may come easier to some than to others, leadership training can help equip everyone on staff to be more productive, effective, and fulfilled. The good news? In 2022, leadership training resources are abundant...and often free.

In the following guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best resources available–including podcasts, video teaching, and more–from some of the most effective leaders in ministry today. These resources not only outline principles of church leadership; they offer insights for key church leaders to become more qualified people to do their jobs well. 

Table of Contents

 Leadership Resources for Christian Church Ministry Leaders

Free is Good, But You Still Need a Budget

Top Free Leadership Training Materials for Churches

Blogs

Podcasts

YouTube

Assessments

Church Leadership Training FAQs

Leadership Resources for Christian Church Ministry Leaders

Leadership resources for Christian ministry leaders typically have a different focus than resources that are specifically designed for business leaders. The foundation for an authentically Christian training resource is always Christ. His life, His teaching, and His sacrifice are foundational to being an authentic, God-centered leader–whether that’s in Church, in the marketplace, or at home. 

That being said, “servant leadership” has become a popular term even among secular circles. And with good reason: People respond well to leaders who show humility, and who seem to have their best interest in mind. 

Models of leadership training may vary, but the functions of leadership remain the same: to help others become leaders themselves, to lead others by example, and to serve. 

Free is Good, But You Still Need a Budget

The good news is that many of the most effective leaders in Christian ministry give away resources for free. They’re willing to share their insights and wisdom at no cost, and want everyone to have an opportunity to learn and grow, regardless of their budget. 

However, having a budget for leadership training is wise. You may want to purchase additional resources, like workbooks or printed resources. You may even want to host a training with a catered lunch or paid speaker. You may want to take a retreat to focus on leadership training. Or you may even want to draw on paid resources to develop your own school of ministry curriculum. 

Remember that investing your resources into something as valuable as leadership training will help you see high return. Your leaders will improve at their roles and feel more equipped to fulfill their callings. And your staff will thank you for investing into their personal and professional growth.

Top Free Leadership Training Materials for Churches

When you Google “free leadership training materials for Christians” you get 210 million results. That’s a lot to filter, especially when you consider how many people might attach the word “Christian” to materials and content that aren’t Scripturally sound. 

That’s why we’ve done the hard work of vetting materials for you. Below, you’ll discover the top free leadership training materials for churches, including the blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, and assessments that can help your church staff become more effective leaders. These materials can help future church leaders, current ministry team leaders, and even an entire team of leaders become more strategic and insightful in the way they guide and influence others. 

Blogs

Blogs are excellent, typically free resources for diving deep into leadership concepts taught by thought leaders in ministry. Many influencers in the leadership space write articles for leaders in the form of blog posts. 

While you can quickly skim individual blogs to pick up information, it’s also helpful to take the time to read through an entire blog series. More than any other medium, a blog provides the opportunity for leaders to dive deep into reflection on leadership (It’s also an easy way to grab free shareable, written content on leadership).

Carey Nieuwhof writes about church leadership

Carey Nieuwhof is a pastor and former lawyer who focuses specifically on leadership. Carey’s goal is to empower ministry leaders and those with high-responsibility roles with practical strategies for becoming more joyful and less stressed. He focuses on specific goals within ministry, such as becoming a better teacher, motivating your team, or reaching the lost. 

Carey’s blog is divided into categories such as “Productivity,” “Church Growth,” and “Communication and Preaching.” His articles–typically written as lists–provide helpful steps for reaching goals or following a specific process.

Open Network from Life.Church

 Open Network from Life.Church is packed with video resources that are paired up with articles. Their content is extremely relevant and addresses topics such as engaging Gen Z, creating excellent social media, and giving feedback. Much of their content is sourced from Hillsong, the Australian megachurch that’s made inroads into celebrity culture with congregants such as Justin Bieber and Nick Jonas.

Courage to Lead (https://www.couragetolead.com/courage-to-lead-blog/)

Courage to Lead is led by Shawn Lovejoy, a pastor, former CEO, and real estate developer. Because Lovejoy has extensive experience across multiple industries, he brings rich insight to his blog, which brings a problem-solution approach to leadership. Blogs such as “3 Reasons Organizations Stop Growing” help pastors and ministry leaders to target and resolve hindrances to ministry growth in practical ways. 

Podcasts

Podcasts have become increasingly popular, with learners looking for engaging content they can listen to on the go. In 2021, there were over 48 million podcast episodes in existence, and every day that number continues to grow. 

Podcasts can be wonderful church leadership resources for those who appreciate authentic, conversational-style content and real interaction. One of the benefits of podcasts is that they are a great way to absorb information in the car, on a trip, or on a walk with the kids–perfect for busy parents and families. This aspect of podcasts is also helpful for those who are auditory learners.

Craig Groeschel’s Leadership Podcast

Craig Groeschel is the pastor of Life.Church, a megachurch with multiple sites all over the United States. Craig’s podcast often addresses a leadership mindset, discussing topics such as maintaining vision, learning forgiveness, exploring motivation, and more. He interviews other industry leaders, such as Carey Nieuwhof, Paula Faris, and Lysa TerKeurst.

Andy Stanley’s Leadership Podcast

Andy Stanley is an author, pastor, and thought leader in the area of leadership. His podcast draws from the marketplace as well as the Church, as Stanley interviews effective people such as the CEO of UPS, Carol Tomé. Expect pragmatic advice that could be applied to businesses organizations as well as churches.

Carey Nieuwhof’s Leadership Podcast

On Carey Nieuwhof’s leadership podcast, he interviews people ranging from Rick Warren of Saddleback Church to Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child. The common goal? Tell the stories of people who have overcome challenges, left powerful legacies, and know how to lead with grace.

Josh Gagnon’s Leadership Podcast

Joshua Gagnon is the lead pastor of one of the fastest-growing church movements in America. On his leadership podcast, he provides Christian leadership training material that empowers and equips listeners to lead better.

YouTube

There’s a good reason that video content has become standard for teaching, learning, and entertaining–it combines both visual and auditory elements to create a more effective, engaging experience for viewers. 

In 2022, there are plenty of video resources for training church leaders on effective leadership. These come in a range of video styles, with a range of perspectives from leaders in ministry–some of them educated in Bible schools, others with experience in secular models of business.

Mac Lake’s YouTube Channel

Mac Lake draws on his background in ministry and church planting to create effective leadership training material for current leaders, future leaders, and middle level leaders. His YouTube channel–packed with in-depth, highly practical  focuses specifically on his “leadership pipeline,” a strategic process for training leaders at every level on true leadership skills.

Lake's style of leadership is ideal for online church leaders who want to learn how to build a platform for greater influence.

John Maxwell’s YouTube Channel

John Maxell was voted the most popular leadership expert in the entire world by Inc. magazine–and with good reason. This key leader has positioned himself in the leadership space by authoring more than 70 books on leadership. They have helped readers all over the world become more effective people, develop basic skills, and learn key leadership principles such as starting small and addressing blind spots.

Maxwell's style of leadership is no-nonsense and straightforward–perfect for all types of leaders.

TEDx Talks on Leadership

Tedx is a great resource for those looking to develop a leadership style that’s powerful, effective, and well-informed. Tedx Talks specialize in offering surprising insights and new ways of thinking–perfect for learners who want to explore something a little different in the leadership space.

YouTube Playlist Focused on Church Leadership Development

Finally, YouTube’s channel on Church Leadership Development collects the top some of the top church leadership resources into a single playlist. Current leaders such as Mark Batterson of National Community Church and inspirational speeaker Simon Sinek offer their best advice and wisdom to aspiring and future leaders.

Assessments

Don't overlook personal assessments as a resource for training! More than an identification of core values or even their “accidental values” (values that aren’t intentional), personal assessments help people understand their own personalities and tendencies. 

Personality assessments are not explicitly Christian leadership training material, but they can help church staff and pastoral staff get a better understanding of how to improve.

The Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment

The Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment was designed to help takers understand their personalities on four different levels: extroversion/introversion, intuitive/sensing, feeling/thinking, and judging/perceiving. The basic idea is to help takers understand how they absorb and respond to information, how they process, and how they feed off interaction with others. 
For a staff person or key leader in the church, the Myers-Briggs can offer both powerful insight into personal behavior as well as the behavior and modus operandi of their fellow church staff.  

Leadership Style Assessments

The Leadership Style Assessment assesses specific behaviors and preferences in a professional setting. This review can help test-takers–and their leaders–understand how they behave at work, whether that’s church or an office.

The DISC Personality Profile

The DISC test is a popular assessment that funnels test-takers into one of four categories: dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness. Like the Myers-Briggs assessment and Leadership Style assessment, the DISC test is not based on Bible models. Still, it can be an incredibly helpful too for helping staff and even laypeople step into their congregational roles with more insight and effectiveness.

Church Leadership Training FAQs 

How do you Build a Church Leadership Team?

What is Effective Church Leadership?

What is the Purpose of Church Leadership?

How do you Develop Leadership in Ministry?

How do you Build a Church Leadership Team?

Building a church leadership team isn’t an overnight task. It’s a long process that requires patience, grace, and insight. Most importantly, it requires the help of the Holy Spirit! That being said, you can help encourage growth and improvement with resources and tools, without a major time investment. 

What is Effective Church Leadership?

Effective church leadership is leadership that ultimately empowers both church staff and congregants to be more like Jesus, to have fruitful lives, and to advance the Kingdom of God in their respective spheres of influence.

What is the Purpose of Church Leadership?

The purpose of church leadership is to help people grow in their relationships with Jesus. Godly church leadership is the product of the core values of the Bible, including forgiveness, grace, obedience, love, and good stewardship. 

Ultimately, the purpose of church leadership is to help bring Christ-centered transformation to individuals and communities. That might look like a staff person becoming a good leader in their respective role. Or it could look like the flourishing of church planting ministries, bringing the message of Christ to people across geographic and demographic lines.

How do you Develop Leadership in Ministry?

In these uncertain times, it can feel difficult to develop leadership in ministry. Challenges to mental health and uncertainty about the economy and safety have unfortunately become the status quo–adding a layer of challenge and complexity to training church staff. 

One of the best ways to develop leadership in ministry in this insecure time is to use Christian leadership training material, including online courses, to train pastoral staff and other church leaders. Church leaders can benefit from podcasts, articles for leaders, videos, and assessments in more ways than one: Becoming both better leaders and more effective people overall.

video transcript

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