How to Help Your Staff Develop Their Gifts

Leading-pastorAs a pastor, you have a lot of responsibilities. When your task list grows, it’s easy to overlook the need to invest in your staff. However, one of the most important parts of leadership development is helping others understand their gifts.

At some point, most of us worked for or learned from a leader who understood this responsibility. And we wouldn’t be where we are today without them. Even if we didn’t have that help, we all understand the value of it and why we should invest in our people this way.

So for all you leaders, here are three ideas for helping the people you lead develop their gifts:

1. Give them a test. The quickest way to help people discover their gifts is to use the resources that have been crafted specifically for discovering strengths and personality. Hundreds of hours have been spent developing these tests, and from personal experience, the results are typically right on. If you’re looking for tests to discover your giftedness, check out this post from my friend Dr. Kent Ingle.

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2. Change their role depending on the test results. The truth is that your staff’s current roles might not line up 100 percent with areas they’re naturally gifted. If you want to help them develop their strengths, give them an opportunity to grow and expand in those areas. Granted, there are obviously things that need to be accomplished, but if you provide your staff with an opportunity to explore their gifts, everyone wins: you, your team, and your entire organization.

3. Encourage them. Even though a test might affirm the gifts of your staff members, telling them that you see these gifts as a valuable asset to your organization is extremely important. This is just as critical as helping your team discover their gifts in the first place. Verbal affirmation is essential when it comes to bringing your team’s gifts into light.

I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for leaders who helped me identify where I was naturally gifted and encouraged me to develop those skills. If you want to exponentially increase your impact as a leader, make this responsibility a priority.

What did someone do for you to help you discover your gifts? How are you passing that on to your team?

With over a dozen years of local church ministry, Justin Lathrop has spent the last several years starting businesses and ministries that partner with pastors and churches to advance the kingdom. He is the founder of (now Vanderbloemen Search), Oaks School of Leadership, and, all while staying involved in the local church. Justin serves as a consultant in the area of strategic relations predominantly working with the Assemblies of God, helping to build bridges with people and ministries to more effectively reach more people. His blog can be found at

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