Leadership Pipeline

Maximize Your Team



While Strategic Envisioning will unite your church by bringing clarity and alignment, the practical reality is that your church will only go as far as there is an empowered leadership team to move it forward.

The best plans, strategy, and vision can only exist on paper without the team to accomplish the goals.

If your church has ever struggled to find enough volunteers or felt like your staff is burning the candles at both ends just to keep the church moving forward, it’s time to build a Leadership Pipeline.

Put simply, a custom-built Leadership Pipeline determines how to get the right people in the right positions doing the right things with the right training. It’s about importing a Volunteer Recruitment and Leadership Development system into the DNA of your church, so that healthy leadership is cultivated consistently from ministry to ministry.

The principles which guide TMG’s Leadership Pipeline framework are consistent in each church, but the implications are uniquely expressed in each congregation. Our Pipeline Design consulting addresses both the guiding principles and applying them in your church’s context.


TMG’S Leadership Pipeline consulting is
divided into two phases:

Phase 1: Design

The Design Phase involves a two-day, on-site consultation with your TMG Consultant. 

Your consultant will first provide critical training on the principles and framework of building a Leadership Pipeline to your ministry leaders. Secondly, the consultant will also partner with your senior leadership team to apply and contextualize the framework to design a custom Leadership Pipeline for your church.

Day 1: Pipeline Framework Training

A Leadership Pipeline is only effective when all of your key ministry leaders understand the framework and principles that undergird the process. Therefore, the first day of the on-site visit is crafted to train-up your team so that everyone has an equal grasp of critical concepts.

The Malphurs Group training is intentionally designed to stretch your team while working to make complicated concepts easy for your team to understand and apply.

Day 2: Pipeline Design Workshop

Using TMG’s proprietary tools and process, your senior leadership team will apply the Pipeline framework to your unique context.

The key to a sustainable Leadership Pipeline is in balancing sophistication with simplicity. Our process will help your team to design a process that is sure to develop high-capacity leaders at every level without adding more stress to an already over-burdened staff.

By the end of the Workshop, your team will have…

  • defined the levels of leadership within your church, including an updated, comprehensive organizational chart
  • clarified core competencies
  • developed leadership assessment processes
  • selected primary training systems
  • crafted a timeline for launching and implementation



The church has the first 30 days to finalize the action plans that were agreed upon in the workshop. We call this the “Make” phase. We want to ensure that the Action Plan is broken down into smaller steps, due dates are assigned, and each step has a clear “owner”  and deliverables to ensure accountability.

Coaching Call: Month 1


The second step, called “Move” is focused on execution. These coaching check-ins  focus on making sure the church follows-through on its commitments. The goal is to encourage and equip the leadership to be consistent and on-target.

Coaching Calls: Month 2 & 3


The third step, called “Measure” ensures that the church keeps track of progress. Using the metrics developed in workshop, we will determine if the church is on pace to reach its goals. At this point, the consultant will help the church determine any “watch” areas that seem to be ahead or behind.

Coaching Calls: Month 5, 8, & 12


The final step, called “Modify” helps the church to make adjustments when necessary. If the church is behind on goals, the consultant will assist the church in diagnose if the problem is with the strategy, the implementation of a strategy, or the leadership of a strategy. The consultant will help the church make any changes that are necessary to keep on track. The Modify step runs concurrently with Measure.

Coaching Calls: Month 5, 8, & 12

The Malphurs Group is committed to a four-phase Implementation process whenever we walk through a consulting process with churches. For this reason, we include one-year of coaching with all of our partner churches. 

Our Leadership Pipeline consulting includes six remote coaching calls that align with our four-step Implementation process detailed here.

Want some free training to get you started?

Simply fill out the form linked here, and we will email you a free one-hour training along with a PDF tool and a PDF of the training notes.


Ready to learn more about the Leadership Pipeline consulting service with The Malphurs Group? Contact us, and one of our team members will get in touch with you within one business day.

When we use the term leadership pipeline, we need to define exactly what we mean if we value clarity. Otherwise, we may assume that we know and agree on what we’re talking about when we don’t.


What is a leadership pipeline?

A leadership pipeline is another term for leadership development. My colleague Brad Bridges refers to leadership pipelines as “the visual context and process where leader development is conceptualized, planned, and measured.” Your leadership pipeline is how you go about recruiting and developing leaders in and for your ministry.

The question here is: do you have a clear, simple memorable pathway for developing leaders at every level of your church? Do most individuals understand and know where they are along that pathway? If not, you need to evaluate how you are developing leaders.

How does a leadership pipeline work?

The leadership pipeline will look different for every ministry and every context. But there will be many elements that remain consistent. For example, all leadership pipelines clarify processes, competencies, evaluation, and metrics (they should, at least).

Where do individuals in your church go to get trained in serving? How do they know where there are needs? Who does the training? Are your staff the main individuals carrying the load? Think about how you can get the congregation engaged in your ministry activities.

Want one of our lead consultants to come on-site? We can come to your church and help you build a leadership pipeline. We also provide distance leadership coaching to pastors of fast growing churches that prefer to keep a professional coach on retainer. Either way, contact us by clicking here.

This article is part of a series of articles on building a leadership pipeline in the local church. See below for some of the others:
1) 12 Challenges to Building a Leadership Pipeline in Your Church
2) Traits of an Effective Leader (some of these could be your competencies for each level of your leadership pipeline)
3) The Leadership Development Pipeline: A Student’s Perspective
4) How Coaching Fits into Your Leadership Development Plan
5) 6 Steps to Building a Leadership Pipeline In Your Church
6) 10 Ways Church Leaders Create a Culture of Equipping and Training (it includes your church leadership pipeline and much more)



Dr. Aubrey Malphurs is the Founder and Visionary Leader of the Malphurs Group and the Senior Professor of Leadership and Pastoral Ministry at Dallas Theological Seminary. He frequently writes on Pastoral Ministry, Church Leadership DevelopmentStrategy, and Vision and also serves churches and denominations as a Consultant and Speaker (The Malphurs Group team also provides Leadership Coaching and Mystery Worshipper Consultations. He is also a husband, father, grandfather, fisherman, and a diehard Florida Gator fan. @amalphurs | website