by ALLC Core Team

Developing people is more of an art than a science.  And it’s more of a dance between God and the person – with a little help and encouragement from others along with way.  If we use the metaphor of dancing to describe developing people, what role does the leader play in this dance between God and each staff member?  Let’s look at some of the ways in which you, as a leader, can set up the dance floor in such a way that enables people to learn, develop and grow as they dance with God.

Can All People Dance?

We were created to dance with God.  In our metaphor, if dancing refers to personal growth and development, then what we’re really asking is, “Can all people really learn, grow and change?”  The good news is, “Yes, they absolutely can!!”

Believe in People

Here’s a little secret about developing people…  Before you march forward into developing your staff, ask yourself this simple question, “Do I believe that my staff can learn to dance?  Or in other words, do I believe in the God-given value and potential of each of my staff?”  If you’re not sure, then stop right there.  You’re not likely to be successful.  The first prerequisite to developing people is “believing in their potential”.  If you don’t believe in them, then you need to decide if you’re going to change your attitude or release your staff to go elsewhere.

Developing others requires first and foremost that we believe in people and value who God uniquely created them to be.  Jesus told us that the greatest commandment is to love God and to love others as ourselves. If you love your staff, then you must love who God created them to be.  And you must desire for your staff to grow and develop in their relationship with God and into their full potential in Christ.  Make sure that’s always your primary motivator for developing your staff.  Developing others is not primarily about you, your ministry, or your personal vision.  It is about helping others learn and grow into their unique fullness in Christ, and thus fulfilling God’s purpose for their lives.  It is about allowing and encouraging your staff to dance with God.

Setting the Dance Stage

What helps people get in the mood to dance?  Some nice lighting, a pleasant atmosphere, and some inspiring music, perhaps?  So if you want to encourage someone to learn and grow as they dance with God, what can you do to set the stage?  Here are five suggestions:

  1. Get on the Dance Floor: Define learning as a key value of your ministry, not something to be embarrassed about.  This means you have to lead the way by showing how YOU are learning, growing and ‘dancing’ every day.
  2. Pick a Great Song: Some people need an extra push to get out on the dance floor.  Likewise, we all need an inspiring vision or purpose to motivate us to learn and grow.  What vision do you continue to share with your staff that motivates them to strive for greatness, give their best, and dance their hearts out?  Challenge your staff to find their own personal vision and purpose from God, as well.
  3. Hold Dance Parties: Hold regular times with your team to get together and learn from one another.  No, not to literally dance together, although that’s great, too!  But to reflect on the team relationships and effectiveness, personal goals, or on recent team events – and to discuss how to improve.
  4. Cross-Train: Everyone brings a different dancing style and expertise to the dance floor.  Encourage cross-training, mentoring and coaching – both within your team and with resources outside of your team.
  5. Create a Dance Budget: Include ‘dance lessons’ in your ministry’s yearly budget.  Plan a yearly team retreat to focus on team development, reflection and goal setting.  Invest in some needed training for your team.


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