Where there’s no progress, there’s no growth. If there’s no growth, there’s no life.” – Andy Stanley

Confession…I am addicted to progress. I want things to move forward and feel myself getting frustrated when they don’t. Surrounding myself with people and organizations that share this value is very intentional for me. Chances are, if you are reading this, you value growth as well.

As you look back at 2015, what propelled you forward as a leader? What helped you grow as a leader the most?  Consequentially, what gave you the least return on your investment?

I have identified 5 ways we all can grow as leaders 2016. I am going to invest time, money and focus into these 5 things. Some more than others as you will see below.

Here are the 5 ways you can grow as a leader in 2016:


1. Get A Coach

Hands down this gave me the biggest return on my investment in 2015.  I learn very collaboratively and prefer to process things in conversations.  A good coach won’t just give you the answers to your problems. They often will allow you to solve or implement things on your own while they walk beside you. I found this so helpful because they aren’t just giving you a band-aid answer, they are giving you the space and confidence to draw out the wisdom from within you.

Coaching cost me more money than all of the other ways combined. In a recent study I did with my email list, only 30% of pastors get coaching to help them grow.

Was it a sacrifice for me? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely.


2. Read

We have all heard and said the famous “leaders are readers and…” quote so I will spare you the redundancy. 86% of pastors say they read books to grow as a leader. Why is this the most popular way pastors learn? For one, it’s the cheapest and most accessible way to learn. It takes zero vulnerability to pick up a book and read.

I read on a macro and micro level. Books are macro. Blogs, articles and reports are micro.  I prefer the micro over the macro because I can complete my readings in a shorter amount of time. Everyone is different.


3. Watch Online Events

82% of pastors said they aren’t able to attend more conferences because of money and time. In person conferences can be expensive between the registration and travel costs.

The beautiful thing is, we live in an age where you can get world class training while sitting at your desk or home in front of your laptop or smart tablet. The main reason I created the Propel Conference was so pastors at churches under 300 could get access to amazing training without incurring the high overhead of an in person event.

If you pastor a church under 300, this event was tailored made for you and your leadership team. The best part of all, your entire leadership team can attend the broadcast for only $119.

If you haven’t done so, register here. The conference is on January 28th so time is running out.


4. Join a Peer Group

In business, they are called masterminds. You may know them as cohorts. Meeting, learning and growing with other leaders/pastors can be a very encouraging experience. You bring experiences and wisdom to the group that several others need. There also may be things they share that help you as well.

5. Become a Coach

Last year, I coached a few ministry focused entrepreneurs who were looking to grow their business. What surprised me was how much I learned from them through the process.  They came to me to grow, but I was also a beneficiary of their experiences and lessons learned along the way.

These are the five main ways I am using to grow myself and our organization. I am going to spend more time with coaches in 2016 because I saw so much fruit come from it in 2015. Everyone is different. Everyone learns differently.

Maybe the best thing for you and your church would be to attend the Propel Conference. It is a very practical online conference with speakers who have been where you have been.

My prayer for you is that God will continue to do in you, what He wants to do through you.

Justin Trapp

Founder at Ministry Pass
Husband to Tisha, Father to Shiloh and founder of Ministry Pass.
Justin Trapp