Our Church Leaders Are Doggone Good

To quote Roy Williams, our church leaders are doggone good.

I don’t mean that to sound overly cocky, just honest. This past weekend was our annual Leaders Retreat (Jan. 24-25), where members of Council, staff, and some key leaders of the church gathered to establish priorities for the coming year (Friday evening) and engage in leadership development on Saturday morning. Even though I lead these retreats, I do my best not to show up with pre-determined priorities. I’m far more interested in seeing how a new crew (and every year is new) approaches the very basic question: What are our three priorities for the coming year?

We reviewed our congregation’s strengths and opportunities, considered what’s on the horizon for our community, and identified under-impacted audiences. Armed with all that data, we divided into small groups and asked them to dream a little. They filled four newsprints with ideas, which were then whittled down into three buckets/themes:

  1. Rethink the Sunday Morning Experience,
  2. Discipleship in the Digital Age, and
  3. A Faith-Filled Approach to Abundant Living for All.

These three priorities will be further developed at next week’s Staff Retreat, and then considered by each of the five ministry groups in developing goals for the 2020-21 ministry year.

More than you want to know? I get it! But at the very least it’s important to see that planning for robust ministry takes great prayer, discernment, intentionality, and planning.

And good leaders. We’re blessed with some really good leaders. Doggone good.

Speaking of which, special kudos to a trio of folks who guided us through the “leadership development” portion of our retreat: Mike Edwards, Dr. Cyndi Osterhus, and Mark Ritchie. They bring a wealth of experience to building leaders, and we’re grateful for their eagerness to building a culture of leadership development at St. John’s.

And there’s more. Kudos, as well, to a group of 7 of our folks who have just completed part 1 of our Young Leaders Cohort. The goal is to identify, build, and equip early career adults to thrive in their vocation, community, and congregation. Part 1 includes four months of weekly gatherings, bookended by two retreats. In part 2, these young leaders are yoked with a vocational mentor for 1×1 mentoring between now and May. It’s a great process, and I can’t say enough about the character and competency of the participants. If you’d like to join a future cohort, just let me know.

We take leadership development very seriously at St. John’s. It’s a long process with lots of starts and stops, but the investment of time and resources is necessary as we build a new generation of leaders for the church and community. From generation to generation. Sound familiar? I hope so.

Blessings to you as we continue to plant trees under whose shade future generations will sit.

+Pastor Rhodes

 

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