Leadership Development Program
Spiritually vibrant, evangelistically urgent and practically skilled church leaders
Join 230+ senior pastors helping their churches become healthy, evangelistic and multiplying. This two-year program includes leadership intensives, coaching and a church health assessment.
Healthy churches need
We long to see Australia won for Jesus through local churches. Our network supports, coaches, trains and prays alongside the church leaders of Australia. We don’t pretend to offer a one-size-fits-all solution, or think we have all the answers. But we’re convinced that together we can make real progress.
Why do the Development Program with Reach Australia?
An Australian network with shared convictions
Leaders need to learn from each other. We focus on sharing wisdom and experiences from our Australian context.
Theological rigour with practical application
Our thinking and practice are infused with reformed, evangelical frameworks.
Leading change takes time. The 2-year program means your coach and other church leaders will walk with you as you embed change in your church.
Intensive 1: Leading yourself
“It’s not an insignificant cost, but if you’re open, it could radically impact the way your church runs for the good of the kingdom.”
Vic Park Presbyterian Church Perth
I am truly grateful for all that it has taught me. It’s really helped me understand myself better, my people better and the work that God has entrusted to all of us better.
Captivate Presbyterian Church Sydney
It’s been fantastic to get together thrashing around ideas. Very, very practical to help people be captured by the gospel and brought into his kingdom, to grow into disciples.
Exchange Church Sydney
It’s been great to think about church with a bunch of other people who are in similar circumstances. Doing it together, the fellowship you have is absolutely tremendous.
Hunter Bible Church Newcastle
We’re in a church of about 40 people. Being able to view the church in terms of a pathway, even for a small church, is really, really good.
Goondiwindi Presbyterian Church QLD
Really helpful in making us intentional, thinking about what our priorities are - making sure we’re keeping the gospel at the forefront.
Kootingal Moonbi Anglican Churches
Immensely helpful. We weren’t trained at college to be able to manage a church and think deep into leadership, teams and HR. Deliberate training in those areas has been helpful.
SLE Church Brisbane
In regional ministry there’s not a lot of time or headspace to think this stuff through. It’s helped us be deliberate in the way we lead ministry.
Connect Church South Grafton NSW
The course has given me the space to consider how to better lead myself, dissect who I am and my values, and assess what’s best next for our church with the vision in mind.
Providence Church Brisbane
I had no idea of the extent to which I would benefit. It’s hasn’t just been good for me organisationally, it’s also kept me fresh spiritually. We’ve been nurtured and cared for.
Dubbo Presbyterian Church NSW
Totally worth the investment of time. You get not only the theology that sits behind it, but quality practices to implement in your context. It’s not a one-size-fits-all. It’s principles.
The Reach Australia
A comprehensive church health consult
Leadership cohort intensives
Gather three times for four-day retreats with the same cohort. Meet with 12-16 church leaders from various denominations and contexts from across Australia. Make strong connections in the network and share your wisdom with others over your lifetime of ministry. Look forward to getting practical, hands-on skills and tools you can use immediately in leading your ministry.
Intensive 1: Leading yourself
– Gospel convictions
– How you operate as a person
– Communication skills
– Mission and vision values
Intensive 2: Leading others
– Applying pathway and ecosystem thinking
– Developing leaders and godly effective delegation
– Building healthy teams
– Growing a leadership pipeline
– Leading change
– Managing your leaders for outcomes
– Effective meetings
– Working on the ‘serve area’ in your church
– Men and women thriving on teams together
Intensive 3: Leading for growth
– Growth barriers
– Leading with courage
– Multiplying ministry in your context
“If you think you’ve got it all together, don’t come. You’ll be challenged in your heart, in your convictions and in your practices.”
Lugarno Anglican Church Sydney
One thing that’s been helpful for me is helping our church move through the next stages of growth. And how I, as a leader, can inspire others to move in that direction.
Baranduda Community Church VIC
I’m from a small denomination, so I was looking for relationships and connections that can help me have longevity in ministry.
Oasis Church Brisbane
You’ll learn from godly pastors and leaders. You’ll meet and find encouragement from others in the same boat. It’s worth every ounce of time and energy.
Campbelltown Baptist Church Sydney
The best thing I’ve done post-college. It’s helped me mobilise others for ministry and helped me lead better at church. I’m feeling further equipped for the future.
Crossroads Church Canberra
Such a blessing. Encouraged and feeling pumped and hopeful for what God’s going to keep doing through the program. Always grateful.
Central Valley Church Brisbane
The impact for us has been building leaders. We’ve been more deliberate about raising up new leaders and equipping them. We’re actually seeing the fruit of that.
Lake Mac Church NSW
You need to do it. It’s the best thing you can do since Bible College.
Southside Presbyterian Church Brisbane
With your denomination you get accountability and a theological framework. With the Development Program, you get training in how to lead a church that holds to those convictions.
Ann St Presbyterian Church Brisbane
Our church had been wanting to grow for a long time, and I didn’t have the skills to help it grow. I needed better leadership skills to make changes that were lasting.
Riverwood Presbyterian Church Sydney
It’s fantastic. It’s been really beneficial for our church and seeing growth and developing leaders at church. How do we work well together as a team and not just silo ourselves?
Crossroads Presbyterian Church Canberra
We’ve grown so much that we’ve started a new church down the road. So many people are coming to Christ.
Dubbo Presbyterian Church NSW
We found it really fruitful. It grew us as leaders, it was insightful and flexible enough to be adapted to our specific needs.
Wollongong Baptist Church NSW
The most significant intervention in our church. You come out of Bible college, and then 80% of your job consists of things you weren't trained for. It's been huge for us, we're seeing fruit that we're very thankful for.
Providence Church Perth
You get lots of good input from people who have been in ministry for a long time, along with peers. People on your side, asking you hard questions and helping you implement change.
Hunter Bible Church Newcastle
It’s helped us put together a thoughtful process to help people engage with the gospel. We want people to become Christians - how do we get there?
Dubbo Presbyterian Church NSW
Upcoming 2024 intakes
Intensive 1: March 18-21 2024
Intensive 2: October 28-31 2024
Intensive 3: Feb/March 2025
Intensive 1: August 12-15 2024
Intensive 2: Dates TBC
Intensive 3: Dates TBC
Apply or enquire about the Leadership Development Program
The Reach Australia network is made up of over 260+ churches from over 12 denominations. We are a national, reformed and evangelical movement with shared convictions.
Under God, the leaders of churches are key to the vibrancy and progress of the church in Australia. Our vision for thousands of healthy, evangelistic and multiplying churches means we must work together across denominations. In fact we believe that a network can do things other structures are not set up to do. We’re excited to serve pastors from across Australia including Presbyterian, independent evangelical, Reformed, Baptist, Anglican and others who affirm our biblical convictions.
We long to encourage and equip gospel ministers to become spiritually vibrant, theologically driven, evangelistically urgent, practically skilled leaders, and to lead churches that also display these attributes. Our framework outlines five key gospel convictions that lie behind everything we do. These principles are like a thread through the cohort programs we run for pastors; they are the basis for the consulting we do with churches. You’ll find that we theme our conference around these ideas. Read the Reach Australia Framework ebook.
While it’s important that the Leadership Development Program be concentrated on senior leaders, we recognise that their ability to lead change depends to a large degree on their teams alignment with the senior minister. Therefore we’re excited to be able to announce that we are piloting a Development Program stream for men and women on ministry staff teams in the later half of 2023 (e.g. assistant pastors).
Reach Australia’s National Conference is also an excellent way to introduce your team to some of the principles of the Development Program, while at the same time as having a week of wonderful fellowship and wider networking. You might consider treating the conference as your annual staff retreat, as many church teams do.
It’s not an imperative that staffing and organisational structures move to an ‘M’* or any other ‘purpose driven’ model. We’re keen to help facilitate robust conversations about what is most helpful for churches in their contexts, as they seek, under God, to lead healthy, evangelistic, multiplying churches.
Churches and pastors in our network have different opinions about organisational models. The Reach Australia framework encourages churches to break down complex church life by thinking of church life in two ways: first, as a pathway seeking to move people from death to life in Jesus (this enables both a people and systems/structures analysis); second, aiming to see both individuals and the church pursue various outcomes.
What does this look like? It varies across the network based on local context, lifecycle of the church and leadership capacity. Some of the churches in the network have structured around outcomes and others use a congregational model to see people move from death to life.
As a network, we encourage churches to be intentional. Every church needs to reflect on the effectiveness of the model and structures they are using, and we want to encourage and enable churches to make change if it’s helpful. Churches need to have regular robust conversations about their structures and organisational systems in all contexts – small and large churches, regional churches and city churches.
* We’ve broken down what a disciple looks like into five things (deep in word, on mission, serving others, belongs in community and loving God). Many churches in our network have structured their churches with an outcomes focus.
We have churches of different sizes in the network, from new churches launching with 30 people to large churches with over 2,500 people regularly gathering, including many churches in regional and remote parts of Australia. One size of ministry doesn’t fit all. Different sized churches suit different contexts and will reach different people.
As a network, we’re committed to equipping churches of all sizes. That could look like helping churches to grow bigger or multiplying lots of smaller churches.
Reach Australia is committed to planting more churches – 300 by 2030. These churches invariably start small and will grow.
Being married to a church leader can bring great joy and also unique challenges. Our Wives Network, with a program parallel to the Leadership Development Program at no extra cost, recognises these challenges and the importance of investing in ministry couples. The Wives Network includes access to a free 3-day getaway, free coaching, free coaching training, and partial subsidy to a 4-day leadership getaway.
We’re convinced about central importance of leadership in the church. The Leadership Development Program is a huge investment backed by gospel patrons for the cause of Christ. The cost to you represents a partnering with us in about half this cost. 50% of Development Program costs are generously covered by giving from a generous foundation.
Here are the costs over the two years for your church to be involved:
Year 1: $5,500 (+ GST)
Year 2: $5,500 (+ GST)
* $1,000 deposit to be paid before the first intensive
* Costs include participation by women in the Reach Australia Wives Network, including coaching
This is what’s included:
• Full church health consultation: including onsite visit
• Coaching: 10 x 1-2 hour sessions
• Development intensives: 3 x 3 day intensives
• Core resources: Access to Reach Australia content library
• Wives Network: Access to 3 day getaway, coaching, coach training, and partial subsidy of 4 day leadership and ministry skill training
Note: If this level of partnership presents a difficulty for you, we’re keen to chat with you.
The more information you can provide the better we can assess the current health of your church. Our team will guide you through what’s required, but an indicative list we will ask for is:
• Number of newcomers during the last 12-24 months
• Past 10 years of weekly church attendance with breakdown of adults, youth and kids
• Median church age
• Past 10 years of conversions and baptisms
• Key postcodes and map of church members’ locations
Church programs and ministry
• Past 10 years of small group attendance
• Number of small groups and leaders
• Number of volunteers and percentage of church serving
• Past 10 years of budget, total giving and/or financial statements.
• Current detailed budget
• List of ministry staff: role, start date and days per week
• List of current church communications – bulletins, newsletters, social media
• Number of church seats
• Total usable acreage (rented or owned) for the church
• Responses to key issues in the church and recent pivotal events
• NCLS or NCD data
• Church constitution and bylaws
• Church polity and structure
• Most recent eldership or leadership meeting minutes