Leaders' views on leadership development culture

We asked local church leaders about the leadership culture at their church

The development of effective leaders and effective leadership practices is a matter of significant concern in churches. 

As the development of new leaders is crucial to the viability and future of churches, in the 2021 NCLS Leader Survey we asked local church leaders about the leadership development culture at their church.

The challenges for churches to grow Christian disciples, reach out to the wider community, and reproduce themselves, have intensified against a broad backdrop of church decline and decreasing trust in church institutions. In light of the challenges posed by a changing world, leadership that supports organisational agility and flexibility is particularly important.

This includes a focus both on nurturing individual leaders, as well as more broadly in developing the leadership capacity of the church. 

The NCLS Leader Survey asked senior leaders in local churches (congregations and parishes) how much they agreed or disagreed with six statements about the leadership development culture at their church.

Results show that a majority of senior local church leaders strongly agreed or agreed that their church has a culture of leadership development.

As shown in the figure below, a majority of senior leaders strongly agreed or agreed that “the leadership at this local church”:

  • “support a church culture of training and leadership development” (73%)
  • “aim to identify people who have leadership potential in our church” (83%)
  • “invest time into developing deeper relationships with people who have leadership potential” (74%)
  • “focus on equipping people (e.g. offer training)” (65%)
  • “create opportunities for people to try out their developing leadership skills” (80%)
  • “help people to learn by exposing them to new ideas and contexts” (74%)



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

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