“The Institute for Servant Leadership exists to equip Christians to be effective servant leaders in the local church.”


institute for Servant Leadership Seminars have been put into a holding pattern. The iSL Board of Directors and staff have confidence in all that iSL offers but have decided it best to suspend the program for the present.

Direct any questions to Herb Shaffer at herb@iservant.org or at 412-283-0888.

What is the institute for Servant Leadership (iSL)?

The iSL program is a unique experience that is both personal and affordable. Our seminars provide top notch content and personal attention by instructors. The Church of God Reformation Movement, (Anderson, IN), provides the basic belief system for all of iSL’s methods, attitude, and doctrine. All learning experiences are designed for practical application at home, work, play as well as roles in the local church.

Leadership is not for the faint of heart

Leading is a challenge. Leading in the 21st century is very challenging. Leading in a volunteer organization such as the church is the most challenging of all. With the many demands on lay leaders, how are they to grow and be effective? With the many demands of ministry, how is a pastor to provide training in leadership? To whom can pastors and lay leaders turn?

Enter: institute for Servant Leadership. iSL is all about serving the church by providing a useable method for equipping leaders in the local church.  Ken Wiedrick, iSL’s former director, watched a middle aged couple animatedly talk about their involvement in church ministry as a result of iSL and exclaimed, “This is our mission in action: to equip men and women to do effective ministry!”

iSL is a catalyst for transformation

God has used iSL to transform people and congregations as they catch the fire of Christ to step up and out in obedient leadership.  How? iSL offers an effective blend of

  • Curriculum that informs and challenges
  • Practical application that transforms
  • Presenters who inspire and model
  • The synergy of learning with others

The result: Christians who are equipped to be leaders in the local church.

Leadership is best learned with others

iSL strives to follow the Biblical model and educational best practices: effective learning is done with others. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Prov. 27:17

Herb Shaffer – Director


The institute for Servant Leadership was formed first in the minds of the Area Administrators in the five state area of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.  The initial vision was cast by Don Smith in 1987 who was serving as the Assistant State Minister of Indiana.  His dream was to educate Ministers and Lay leaders in the practical application of church growth principles and to teach a methodology for churches to embrace and practice.  The Five Church System was the first framework that the curriculum was designed around and currently the iSL teaches the Natural Church Development system which is designed to bring churches to health with the understanding that healthy churches grow naturally.

We meet for two day seminars (Friday and Saturday) in the spring and fall each year for 12 hours of instruction, workshops and small group interaction.

Contact Information

Telephone   412-283-0888   
Postal address
institute for Servant Leadership
4767 Library Road
Bethel Park PA 15102
(Note: this is also the phone number and mailing address for New Song Community Church)
Electronic mail
General Information: Director  Herb Shaffer
Herb’s Blog: http://fromwheregodsits.blogspot.com/

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"We sent 9 members of our Leadership Team to the ISL Leadership Essentials track. This made a huge impact on the team members and how we functioned as a team. Every church should invest in training their leadership. I highly recommend ISL." - Amy Worline, PA