Do churches intentionally develop emerging leaders?

Some 85% of senior local church leaders say they develop emerging leaders

The identification, formation, training and support of new leaders is crucial to the viability and future of churches, and indeed any organisation. Raising up the next generation of leaders is a priority expressed by key Australian Christian leaders, and the development of emerging leaders within local churches (congregations, parishes, campuses) is one part of this effort.

According to the most recent National Church Life Survey conducted in 2021/22, 85% of senior local church leaders say they intentionally develop emerging leaders.

In the 2021 NCLS Leader Survey, senior leaders in local churches were asked:

In the last 5 years, how many emerging leaders have you intentionally developed personally (e.g. mentored, coached, discipled)?

  • None, I have not put time into this
  • 1-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-10
  • More than 10

Most senior local church leaders (85%) report intentionally developing emerging leaders, with the most common response being 3 to 5 emerging leaders.



Results show that Pentecostal leaders develop the greatest number of emerging leaders: 47% say they mentor/coach/disciple more than 5 emerging leaders, compared with 23% of Catholics, 18% of Mainstream Protestants, and 27% of Other Protestants.

Catholic and Mainstream Protestant senior local church leaders are less likely than other leaders to have developed emerging leaders in the previous 5 years, but even in these denominations, senior leaders had still most commonly developed 3-5 emerging leaders.

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

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