So I scribbled some notes from Bishop Thomas' words to we the youth leaders of the denomination, on the topic of "Leadership Development"...
"We are inviting others into the journey of becoming someone others can follow."
"Service is an ESSENTIAL part of discipleship."
"Multiplication requires developing (your) leaders."
"Shared ministry is the MOST effective."
(in regard to what book to read) "I'd rather tell you what KIND of book to read/not read. If it's formulaic (points a, b, and c will yield ____ results), it probably won't help you a ton. If it's bashing the church, without regard for healing and solutions, it probably won't help you much. If you gave the book to someone from another culture, and they told you they couldn't understand it, it probably doesn't have the "big picture" truth to be very relevant."
The general message of our time together, and of the words we were given, was an encouragement to be purposeful in our leadership development. Not simply future pastors or youth workers. But to target the people who are, and will be, followed....to develop them into those who are being followed toward Christ.
The body of Christ as a whole, and the Free Methodist Church needs to be raising people who will step into areas of need. Who will begin new conversations. Who will participate as committed members of a specific body that commits back to them in return, to say "let's move toward Christ together, and experience an accountable community as we do this..."
These are all things that will not happen simply by allowing those who are charismatic or popular rise to the surface naturally. We (read that "I") need to be identifying and developing more of those who have the characteristics of Christ, and guiding/calling them into leadership/discipleship. The valuable point was made that most leaders today weren't called by a mystical "calling of God in the quiet moments", but were actually tugged at through another person in relationship with God.
I pray that this continues to develop as I'd readily admit, due to my low administrative nature, my leadership development has lacked a sense of structure and discipline. Lord, help me...
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