Areas of ministry most common for emerging leaders

Emerging leaders most commonly included in leading or assisting in church services

The development of new leaders is crucial to the viability and future of churches.

While all people have gifts and skills, each a part of the body of Christ, those who lead have a particular role to play, and there are opportunities for emerging leaders to become involved in a wide array of ministry areas.

According to the most recent National Church Life Survey conducted in 2021/22, emerging leaders were most commonly included in leading or assisting in church services.

In the 2021 NCLS Leader Survey, senior leaders in local churches (congregations and parishes) were asked:

Over the past two years, in which of the following areas has this church included emerging leaders in order to develop their gifts and skills?

  • Teaching/preaching
  • Music ministry
  • Children or youth ministry
  • Small group leadership
  • Pastoral care
  • Admin/compliance
  • Lead/assist in church services
  • Welcoming and hospitality
  • Committee/task force member
  • Council/board/elder/deacon
  • Some other role
  • None of the above

Survey results show that churches include emerging leaders in a range of areas to develop their gifts and skills, especially in roles that are integral to the worship and teaching life of the church.



At least 6 in 10 senior local church leaders report that emerging leaders are included in leading/assisting in church services, welcoming and hospitality, music ministry, children or youth ministry, and teaching/preaching.

Approximately half of leaders indicate that emerging leaders are included as councillors/board members/elders/deacons, in pastoral care, and in small group leadership.

Administration/compliance and committee/task force membership is less common, with 38% and 32% of leaders respectively indicating these areas.

Some 13% of leaders name some other role. Just 3% of senior leaders indicate that their churches do not include emerging leaders in these various areas.

For more results on the development of emerging leaders and how this relates to church vitality, see our free report: Development of emerging leaders in Australian local churches.

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