Making Mission Possible

CPAS enables churches to help every person hear and discover the good news of Jesus

The leadership 'doughnut'

The CPAS leadership doughnut highlights key topics of leadership development to bring about church growth.

Here at CPAS we have developed a diagrammatic model of healthy leadership as the foundation of developing leaders for mission. We believe that it can help individuals and churches to be clear about what leadership provides in the life of a church. It's also a model that can be used to ask the question: 'How are we doing?'

And, because of its shape (and the fact that its richest aspect is in the middle!), we call it our leadership 'doughnut'.

More resources will be added to this page over the coming weeks, including extra articles, reviews and podcasts.

CPAS leadership doughnut

Click on the links below for resources related to each topic:

Growing in Christ-likeness

Discern direction

Enable action

Facilitate communication

Build teams

Nurture people

Develop leaders

... so that others may come to know Christ.


You can also follow these links to some other areas of the CPAS website which may be of interest:

  • Church Leadership: CL is a one-stop subscription resource for lay and ordained church leaders. Most of the doughnut-related material on this page was first published in previous editions of CL.
  • Leading Edge: Topics in the doughnut form the basis of Leading Edge events, which are local forums where church leaders can gather together to discuss these key topics. Check out the topics, dates and venues of future events.
  • Growing Leaders courses and books: The CPAS Growing Leaders and Growing Leaders - Youth Edition courses are designed to help develop leaders within churches for the task of mission.


Jam doughnutsGrowing in Christ-likeness

This is at the heart of our understanding of Christian leadership. It's as much about who you are as it is about what you do. In short, it's about character. Christian leadership is based on the example of Jesus, the leader who stunned his disciples when he donned a towel, poured water and knelt to wash their feet.

Good leaders are secure in their identity in Christ - and this is worked out day by day in their personal lives, in their 'self-management' and in their relationships with others.

Discern direction

The first responsibility of leadership is to enable a church to discover and understand a God-given vision. Every church needs this. A church without a vision is like an orchestra without a score.

Leadership is about going somewhere, and the 'sense of direction' should be clear and compelling. Before working out the direction to follow, a church needs to be clear about its mission, identity and values. And as they move on to discern God's vision for them, they will need to remember that the best way to achieve ownership of vision is through involvement in the process of discovering the vision.

Enable action

Some label this very practical area of work as 'putting the wheels on the bus.' Change is often painful and rarely 'conflict free and, naturally, vision is best implemented through careful, step-by-step planning. Changes to structures, systems and processes are also changes to people - hence the need for careful management of change, possibly involving the skills of problem-solving and change-management.

Facilitate communication

History will decide on the effectiveness - or otherwise - of the presidency of Barack Obama. But the vast majority of commentators agree that his outstanding ability as a communicator was a major contributor to the success of his 2008 campaign.

Good communication is an essential ingredient of effective leadership - and it
begins with active listening and the asking of good questions. The development of skills and attitudes will play a part, but these won't be meaningful unless based firmly on Christ-like character. Jesus, after all, is the evangel, the good news - he is the communication!

Build teams

The New Testament pattern of church leadership offers a bracing challenge to individualistic notions. It's based on teamwork, which, of course, is about much more than collecting individuals together. Building strong teams will involve allocating roles to people according to their gifts - and passions! Training and development will play a part as well as ensuring, as much as possible, that everyone is aware of their contribution to the big picture.

Nurture people

It's impossible to overemphasise the fact that leadership is about people. I'm sure we've all had experience of leadership which, for whatever reason, seems to have
forgotten about this relational aspect! Good leadership nurtures people, bringing out the best in them, helping them to realise their potential.

Develop leaders

Leaders develop new leaders for today and for the future. Wherever there's good leadership, there will be a strong feeling for the concept of vocation, in its widest sense. People will be helped to discover their calling and to become aware of their talents, spiritual gifts, passions, temperament. There will be a church culture in which people's worth is acknowledged through 'investing' in them via training that develops them in a Christ-centred leadership. Such leadership is exercised for the benefit of others, to enable the church to function well so that it will be a blessing to the whole community.

CPAS Stories

Imogen came on a CPAS You and Ministry weekend at the age of 21. Today, she is training for ordination at Trinity College, Bristol…


Donate to CPAS

Support the work of CPAS