What Is the Maxwell Leadership Center?

March 16, 2023


5 min read

The John C. Maxwell Leadership Center - Overview

What happens at The John C. Maxwell Leadership Center? How might it serve you in your career?

If you’re a student of leadership, chances are you’ve learned from John C. Maxwell. For years, this “leader of leaders” has taught and inspired leaders through his bestselling books, speaking, and coaching.

Maxwell has a track record that reaches back decades, and The John C. Maxwell Leadership Center is all about the future. Continue reading to learn about what goes on at the center and how it could be your pathway toward impactful leadership.

The John C. Maxwell Leadership Center

Founded with the help of a gift from generous donors in 2014, the center exists to “inspire and develop next-generation ministry leaders.” The John Maxwell Leadership Center is actually a brand that encompasses the 12Stone Church Residency program, EQUIP®, the Coaches Leadership Network, and other leadership training initiatives at 12Stone Church. Let’s take a look at the center’s story and their main programs.

The Story

Perhaps you’ve learned that “leadership is influence.” You might have heard that “everything rises and falls on leadership.” If so, whether you realize it or not, you’ve been influenced by John C. Maxwell. A former pastor, he’s been equipping leaders inside and outside of the church since 1974.

The John C. Maxwell Leadership Center is the realization of a dream of Maxwell’s from many years ago. His dream wasn’t just to have a leadership center; it was to have a leadership center that’s connected to a local church.

Years before, Maxwell bought a brick that had been part of the John Wesley Chapel in Bristol, England. He wanted it to be the cornerstone of the leadership center he dreamed of. In 2013, at 12Stone Church’s 25th anniversary celebration, Maxwell gave the brick to Pastor Myers. The next year, they cut the ribbon to open The John C. Maxwell Leadership Center at 12Stone Church.

Speech Coaching for Maxwell Leadership Members

Hundreds of Maxwell certified coaches are using Yoodli, a free AI powered speech coach to refine their speaking skills. Yoodli provides them with private, personalized, and judgment free feedback on their filler words, pacing, eye contact, body language, and much more. If you’re considering working with the Maxwell Leadership Center or becoming a coach yourself, make sure you check out Yoodli at http://www.yoodli.ai.

Based in a Local Church

Maxwell’s focus is on leadership in the context of the local church. So, it makes perfect sense that The John C. Maxwell Leadership Center is a part of 12Stone Church in Duluth, Georgia. (The John Maxwell Company also is located in Duluth.) This allows for training and experience in real-life ministry contexts. They refer to this as a “teaching hospital” or a “live lab” setting.

Take a look at the center’s beautiful facility, including the Williams Auditorium, the rotunda, and the statue of John Wesley. You also can tour the facility if you’re in the Atlanta area. (Call 678-990-8100 to schedule a tour.)

12Stone Church Residency

If you sense a call to vocational ministry in a local church, check out the 12Stone Church Residency program. The program serves “emerging pastors” (men and women) after college.

The program is basically an internship in which residents get practical experience in leadership roles while receiving top-notch training. For two years, they serve full time at 12Stone Church campuses and partner churches. Also, they receive personal mentoring to help them develop into impactful ministry leaders.

The John C. Maxwell Leadership Center - Overview - 2

Residents choose to focus on one of these areas of ministry:

  • Outreach
  • Spiritual formation
  • Worship
  • Creative arts
  • College ministry
  • Student ministry
  • Children’s ministry
  • Home church
  • Operations
  • Production
  • Marketing

Residents may earn a master’s degree from Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University for free.

Graduates from the 12Stone Church Residency program have gone on to serve in churches such as Life.Church, Seacoast Church, and Saddleback Church.

Coaches Leadership Network

The Coaches Leadership Network is a growing support community for people who coach kids in sports. The network understands that athletic coaching, especially for young people, goes beyond teaching lateral passes,  three-pointers, and penalty kicks.


The John C. Maxwell Leadership Center houses the headquarters of EQUIP®, one of the center’s partner organizations. EQUIP® is an international not-for-profit organization that John Maxwell started in 1996 to develop servant-leaders all over the world.

Primarily, EQUIP® prepares people to engage in personal evangelism—sharing their faith with others. It’s not about sharing information, per se. EQUIP® mobilizes people to provide service that can transform a community—and hope that can transform the world. Of course, like everything else Maxwell touches, it’s about leadership. Specifically, servant leadership.

Do you want to hear some impressive stats? In 2015, EQUIP® reached one of its huge goals—to train leaders from every country on earth. Since its inception, EQUIP® has trained over six million leaders. Wow!

Salt & Light

In the sermon on the mount, Jesus taught His followers that they are “the salt of the earth” and “the light that gives light to the world.” He urged them to “be a light for other people” (Matthew 5:13-16). Basically, Jesus told His followers to go out into the community and the world at large to serve people, share hope with them, and cultivate a hunger for God.

The people behind EQUIP’s Salt & Light initiative take this commission to heart. They realize that not everyone will come to a church. So, the church must go to them. Salt & Light equips and mobilizes believers to go out into the community to cultivate relationships—serving people and adding value to their lives—and to share their faith.

The Salt & Light initiative involves a seven-session small group program called Beyond Success. It helps people grow in character and leadership, equipping people to go out and share their faith. Beyond Success includes some of Maxwell’s training and his personal testimony. The idea is that program participants will go on to become facilitators, growing the number of groups exponentially.

Both individuals and organizations can connect with the Salt & Light initiative. They can attend events, join the prayer team, serve as a Beyond Success coordinator or facilitator, or become a resource partner.

Learn more about EQUIP®.

Free Resources for Church Leaders

12Stone Church offers valuable resources to church leaders for free. You can find tools to plan events, information about multi-campus systems and volunteer management, video and audio files, and tons more. Browse their resources here.

Wrapping Up

The John C. Maxwell Leadership Center is literally a dream come true for John Maxwell. It’s church-based programs and resources can be a one-stop shop for both aspiring and seasoned ministry leaders. If you or someone you know can benefit from their training and resources, definitely get connected—and see what a difference it can make.


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