This year our family did something new when it came to decorating for Christmas....
I was reflecting the other day on our core values as a denomination. These values aren’t meant to represent theological positions, but rather the uniqueness of what people will experience as they interact with ECO. One of those core values is “Your Leadership Acceleration.” This value recognizes that all leaders, lay and vocational, need to be on a life-long journey of growth in terms of knowledge, skill, and spiritual maturity.
We have developed quite a few opportunities in the last 10 years to grow as leaders. These include, but are not limited to, officer training, Commissioned Lay Pastor program, the ordination process, Flourish Institute of Theology, church planting assessment/training/coaching, pastor learning communities and now the addition of Compass Retreats to help mid-career pastors to discern their next season of ministry.
As the needs in ministry continue to change, there are increasing challenges in ministry, I want to encourage all leaders and churches to ask two questions as we prepare to head into 2024:
How might God be calling you to grow as a leader? Perhaps you are a lay leader and might want to take a course or a certificate program at Flourish Institute. Maybe you are a staff person and are considering joining the ordination process. Maybe you want to grow in a leadership skill or in discipling others. Maybe you are a mid-career pastor and a Compass Retreat might be good as you think about God working in and through you in your next season. This isn’t certainly an exhaustive list and I have no preconceived ideas of how God might be calling any of us to grow. What I do know is the Lord is calling all of us to grow and mature in some way. So, how is God calling you to grow in this next season of ministry? There are so many resources available through ECO and outside of the denomination. If you have any questions about how to find what would help you flourish as a leader, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help!
How might you help others around you grow? You will soon be receiving information about our end of year giving campaign called Accelerate, where we encourage individuals and congregations to invest financially in our Leadership Development Initiatives. But today I am simply asking you to think about others around you that might need some encouragement in taking their next steps. Perhaps a younger person in your congregation might benefit from being involved in a Summer Mission Mentorship that is being offered. I am guessing that at least one person in your congregation, a lay leader or staff, might benefit from taking a course or a certificate program with FIT starting in the winter semester (Jan 2024). Sometimes younger leaders or lay leaders just need the encouragement of older leadership in the church to take their next steps to develop in ministry!
I don’t know how God is specifically calling you or those in your congregation to grow in this season. What I do know is that God wants each of us to grow and develop as healthy leaders who can invest in our churches and communities in order to experience the flourishing of His Kingdom. Now is the time to take that next step! We can’t wait to cheer you on along the way!