7 Reasons DEVELUP is Your Best Next Step

Here Are The Top 2 Questions People Ask Me About DEVELUP

What is DEVELUP?

The number one question people ask me about DEVELUP is, “What is DEVELUP?” DEVELUP exists to develop world-class leaders impassioned to serve the local church. Notice that the mission doesn’t include “impassioned to serve LCBC”. The program’s purpose is to benefit the local Church, as a whole.

This 2-year leadership development program gives you practical ministry experience and training in the areas of Campus Leadership, Worship, and Production. However, in this post, I’ll be specifically referencing the Campus Leadership program (although most apply to the program as a whole).

What’s it like?

The number two question I’m asked about DEVELUP is, “What’s it like?”

We hosted an event at LCBC Church – Manheim Campus called “DEVELUP for a Day”. This event gave prospective DEVELUP applicants a clearer picture of what the program was like.

In the morning, the attendees heard from our Senior Pastor, David, and the program director, Paul. They gave a pretty good overview of who we are and what we do as a church. Paul also gave a good overview of what the program was and what it isn’t.

Then, Paul invited a select panel of prior and current DEVELUP Staff to be interviewed and give the REAL picture of what DEVELUP is like. I say, “REAL picture”, not because Paul didn’t explain the program well, but because the staff will always have a different experience than the director and vice versa.

Our DEVELUP-for-a-Day Discussion Panel

So, here’s the gist of my DEVELUP experience:

I Didn’t Plan on Applying for DEVELUP

You have to know that I didn’t plan on applying for DEVELUP. At that time of applying, I had just got done legally forming a company and my plan was to get that company off the ground. However, God had different plans for me. Which is true of most of us, isn’t it? For me to apply, there were 3 hurdles that I had to overcome to apply.

3 Hurdles I Had to Overcome to Apply


My pride often gets the best of me. I believed that what I was doing in building a company and all of the other opportunities I was involved in, that I would be sacrificing it for a lesser opportunity. The turning point in me applying is that I realized I was focused on going faster in the short-term than going farther in the long-term. In the short-term, I tricked myself into believing that what I was doing was more important than who I was becoming.

Fear of Rejection

In addition to my pride, I was afraid of being rejected during the application process. I had applied a year prior and was rejected, so why would I want to feel that rejection again? It’s a natural fear we have, as humans. We all want to be accepted. However, this fear often prevents us from stepping out of our comfort zone and into the plan God has for us.

Reflecting on the reasons why I was rejected in the prior year, I determined that it was for the best. There was a lot of growth that still needed to happen and I’m grateful for that waiting period. Ultimately, God will put you in the position that He wants you – so if you’re not where you want to be yet, it’s because you’re not supposed to be, yet. This doesn’t mean that we don’t posture ourselves for God’s favor, by being faithful in what we’ve been given.

Fear of Missing Out

The last hurdle that prevented me from applying is that I was afraid of missing out on what I believed I was supposed to be doing. I believed that I needed to be building businesses – finding needs and creating solutions. In reality, I can do this at any time, but will I probably be more equipped to lead others after experiencing DEVELUP.

Once I named these hurdles for what they were, I was able to put aside my pride and apply. I’m so grateful that I applied because it led to some incredible experiences in my spiritual, professional, and relational development!

The Best Part of the DEVELUP Experience

It’s been recognizing that who I am becoming is more important than what I’m doing. There were 3 places where I recognized I was growing:

Spiritual Growth:

I’ve been learning to focus first on Jesus.

Professional Growth:

I’m been mastering leadership skills.

Relational Growth:

I’m learning that everything we do involves relationships! At LCBC, our business is people.

The Unexpected Benefits of DEVELUP

There have been several unexpected benefits of DEVELUP. When joining the staff of a church, you may have a pretty clear idea of what working at a church is like. However, I never knew what it would be like to work at a church like LCBC and it’s been a pretty cool experience. We really do care about our people here. I’m not just talking about the people who attend our church, but also our staff.

DEVELUP has not only challenged me in my thinking but also made me more aware of my strengths and what I could bring to the table in regards to developing people and our church. You will learn a lot about ministry, but you’re also going to learn a lot about yourself. You will also learn about growing as a follower of Jesus.


DEVELUP gave me tools in my toolbox to lead better now than I had ever led before. It challenged some of my suppositions of what church is and how do we operate as a church. DEVELUP has created a cool way to learn and grow together.

It challenged me to dig into my Bible daily, learn more about servant leadership, and become a shepherd leader. I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning now that I’ve shifted my life into the growth gear.

7 Reasons DEVELUP is Your Best Next Step

1. You will grow as a leader.

The world is in desperate need of leaders! Bill Hybels is famous for saying, “When a leader gets better, everyone gets better!” You are going to come into the program with room to grow. You are given feedback and the opportunity to grow and learn practical ministry. At the end of the program, you will have learned how to be a shepherd leader and oversee ministry areas at a high level.

2. It matters who you hitch your cart to.

This is such a key principle that we forget, nowadays. It matters who you hitch your cart to. It matters who you surround yourself with and the type of people you align yourself with. Who are the people in your life that are in the position that you want to be? What are you doing to learn from them and glean wisdom and leadership from those people? Through DEVELUP, we found staff being offered great opportunities outside the church because LCBC Church is held in high regard by local organizations.

As I was considering my decision to apply for DEVELUP, I met with several business and nonprofit leaders in the area. I discovered that they all held LCBC in high esteem. I’ll never forget, I was having a conversation with Roger North of North Group Consultants and told him that I was considering DEVELUP. Roger said, “Brad, that’s great! There are many leaders at LCBC who I hold in high esteem and look to for leadership. I believe you’re on the right path and that LCBC would be a great place to be developed as a leader.” His words actually influenced me to get rid of my “short-term mentality” and trade it in for a “long-term vision“.

3. You Love the local Church and want to help the mission move forward.

All of our primary purposes involve moving the local Church and fulfilling the Great Commission. Through DEVELUP you will learn skills and leadership to build up any church! As I said earlier, DEVELUP is not for young leaders impassioned to serve LCBC, but the local Church. Whatever skills and leadership you learn through DEVELUP, you can take to any church and lead well.

4. You want to be close to great leaders.

If you’re looking for world-class leaders, LCBC has them. Oftentimes, you’ll find yourself soaking up leadership via osmosis because the leaders just leak great leadership. There are so many great leaders around LCBC. Why wouldn’t you want exposure to that?

5. Take the next 2 years to set yourself up for the next 50.

I find that 20-somethings don’t think about what happens beyond the 2-year mark. I’m not sure why that is, but often our idea of a long-term investment stops at 2 years. Maybe it’s because we’ve seen parents and relatives spend 40 years of their lives in one company. This scares us because we have absolutely no idea what we want to do for the rest of our lives. Studies show that you won’t spend the rest of your lives doing one thing. So a 2-year investment is nothing compared to the life that we may have ahead of us. Don’t settle for going faster in the short-term when you can go so much farther in the long-term.

6. It’s a pretty sweet deal.

You will not find another opportunity like this in ministry, or organization for that matter. LCBC has really invested in DEVELUP, offering many benefits for an on-ramp that may not be the best fit. Some of those benefits include (for Campus Leadership Program):

  • Theological training that counts for 18 FREE credits of a Master’s of Arts in Ministry or Master of Divinity, in collaboration with Lancaster Bible College.
  • All-costs-covered for supplementary classes, trips, retreats, and conferences.
  • FaceTime with World-class Leaders.
  • Entry-level full-time salary and benefits package made available.

7. God is really directing you to this next step.

Everything else aside, I believe that God may be directing you to this next step of applying for DEVELUP. It’s rare for me to consult God before making an impulsive decision. I usually just say, “That sounds like an awesome opportunity!” I add this opportunity to the list of things to do and I end up spinning my wheels instead of making progress because I’m trying to keep one foot in everything.

I’ve learned that there is a better way. The alternative way to approach life is to prayerfully pursue one thing, running full-steam-ahead. View yourself as a ship in the ocean with the wind at your sails driving you forward, then God should be the rutter – steering your life in His way and timing.

Apply for DEVELUP

What are you waiting for? If you feel like God is leading you to apply, then do it! Apply here and let God do the rest. The application deadline is March 31st, 2018. Don’t miss it!

For some of you reading this, maybe DEVELUP isn’t your best next step, right now. If you’d like to follow along with what I’m learning in and out of DEVELUP, subscribe to my newsletter below. I try to post once a week.


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