The “Answering the Call” Event—
The Leadership Training Process
By L. Faye Short, ACR Coordinator of Leadership Training
The coolness of the Illinois days was an added bonus to the excellent conference sponsored by the Association for Church Renewal at Elmhurst College near Chicago, August 6-8, 2010.
A pre-conference boot camp focused on church replanting and revitalization within the mainline denominations. This event offered practical “how-to” information for those called to remain within their denominational settings. View various boot camp presentations at www.mainlinecall.org.
Ed Stetzer, Director of Lifeway Research, drew the audience into laughter and reflection as he shared well-researched truth about the state of the church and the essential need to discern where God would take us if the church is to be the viable witness God has called it to be in the current culture. You may access Ed Stetzer’s presentation at www.mainlinecall.org—and, glean additional information by going to www.edstetzer.com.
John Armstrong, Director of ACT 3, and adjunct professor of evangelism at Wheaton College Graduate School, has a passion for the Church of Jesus Christ, collective, to unite in missional-ecumenism. By missional-ecumenism, John stresses two truths: (1) God is both a unity in himself and as such is a sending God, and (2) God’s revealed desire is that we would be (relationally) one with him in this sending and sent (mission) process. At Answering the Call, John conveyed his heart’s burden that the Church fulfill Jesus’ prayer for all believers found in John 17, “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me….” To fan this flame of ecumenism, read John’s book Your Church is Too Small, and visit his web site at www.Act3online.com.
Workshop topics for the weekend included: Speaking Christianly about Sexuality; Loving Truth, Preventing Schism; Stories of Renewal; Understanding Online Communication; Current Issues in the Mainline; Developing a Leadership Base; Discerning God’s Heart for Women’s Ministries; Mentoring the Next Generation; The Family in Mainline Ministry. These and other workshops facilitated thought-provoking conversation and potentially life-changing application for participants.
Worship and Music under the leadership of the Rev. Rich Rubietta was uniting and inspiring. Rich brought diverse mainline members together around the person of Jesus Christ and the essentials of our faith. The warmth and enthusiasm of his leadership style was contagious. Consider inviting Rich for your event: Abounding Ministries, Grayslake, IL, 847-233-4790; RRubietta@Abounding.org.
The leadership training process introduced at Answering the Call is ongoing through the ACR/EQUIP partnership.
EQUIP is a non-profit organization specializing in the development of effective international and national Christian leaders. EQUIP and the ACR believe, “You can go fast by yourself…but you can go far together.” We hope you will join us to make this so.
In his Elmhurst College address, John Hull, President/CEO of EQUIP, encouraged those attending in their renewal and reform efforts within their various denominations. He shared the importance of leadership training in the church renewal process. John cited the effectiveness of EQUIP’s leadership training program, now in over 140 countries, training in excess of two million people worldwide.
In a recent comment, Rev. Steven King of Word Alone Network stated, “We need to stop asking God to bless what we are doing and to simply do what God is blessing.” There is no doubt, God is blessing EQUIP’s leadership training ministry.
Tom Atema, EQUIP Vice President of International Ministries & Strategic Partnerships led a workshop on Leadership Training. Tom identified worldwide needs that require strong leaders. He stated, “Leadership is influencing people in a positive direction—leaders are facilitators of constructive change.” Participants were reminded of our charge to fulfill the Great Commission, and the fact that, culturally, our means of communicating and reaching the world is changing. Even so, the core characteristics of a leader do not change. As Christians, we must think with biblical leadership values. Biblical servant leadership is the EQUIP model.
Tom spoke of the power of partnership in the fulfilling of the Great Commission. Two EQUIP partners from the Chicago area testified to the effectiveness of their partnership with EQUIP in their ministries.
Melanie Clements serves as a director with African Youth Hope, an outreach ministry that seeks to evangelize the people of Sudan. Leadership training for ministry leaders has been a key in multiplying their effective outreach. They have provided EQUIP materials to high ranking governmental officials and church leaders in order to develop their leadership skills in the biblical, servant leader model. This brings about systemic, cultural change that enhances the spread of the Gospel. Melanie recounted sharing the EQUIP leadership material with a Sudanese bishop one day, only to have him knocking on her door at 7:00 a.m. the next morning, ready to get resources and get started.
Robert McCleland is the Executive Director/CEO of the North American Baptist Conference. Dr. McCleland’s first application of the EQUIP leadership material was to use it in staff training at the home office. Regional leaders teach through the first six lessons with area pastors and leaders. They then take the info to local congregations to train lay leaders. Missionaries in seven countries utilize the EQUIP leadership training materials to train indigenous leaders. Rob shared how his own engagement with the EQUIP leadership material challenged him and influenced his leadership style. Rob summarized his partnership experience thus: “The response from pastors and church leaders has been overwhelmingly positive. Partnering with EQUIP to make this curriculum available to our pastors and church leaders is probably the most value-added service I’ve ever provided.”
The Process Is Ongoing…
In a recent study, Barna identified the quality of leadership provided…as the most critical element in determining the future health and growth of mainline congregations.
“Answering the Call” keynote speaker Ed Stetzer wrote, “While pastors believe that the church is a place where leaders need to be developed and they see themselves investing in this task, they generally recognize a real deficit in the church’s effectiveness in accomplishing it.”
At a recent EQUIP gathering, Rev. Jeff Appling, pastor of “The Grove” near Commerce, Georgia, recounted how EQUIP leadership resources were utilized to train his staff members, who in turn trained those serving with them. The leadership training material continues to be effectively used in various venues within the church. The same resources are used to train leaders through their mission outreach to Honduras.
The leadership training curriculum offered through the ACR/EQUIP partnership is based on biblical leadership principles that are timeless and universal. They are transferable across all denominational lines. The resourced cover three areas that are crucial to leadership development:
- Spiritual formation: Integrity, Ethics, Humility, Motives, Core Values
- Skill formation: Developing People, Communicating, Team Building, Problem Solving
- Strategic Formation: Effective Planning, Priorities, Vision
Leadership Training is a process. This means leadership training must be ongoing to be effective. In the EQUIP curriculum, there are three volumes, consisting of six notebooks in each volume, with six lessons in each notebook. The resources offered can be tailored to your needs, designed to fit your schedule and contextualized for your denomination.
We are living in a time when biblical leadership is needed as never before. The crisis of confidence within the culture and within the church shout to this need.
Christian leader—will you be instrumental in bringing biblical, servant leadership training to your denomination?
EQUIP Partnership Testimonial
Dr. Robert McCleland
Executive Director, CEO
North American Baptist Conference
As a denominational leader, my highest professional aspirations are reserved for church leaders under my care. I’m incredibly thankful when I see church leaders growing in their spiritual leadership and ministry effectiveness. Leaders multiplying leaders means strong ministry today and a brighter future for tomorrow. But where do you begin?
I must begin with myself then bring others along with me. That is exactly what I love about the EQUIP material. Every lesson speaks to my heart. The consistent emphasis on Character Development, People Skills, and Leadership Strategy is extremely helpful. Each set of six leadership development lessons has proven helpful to my own growth and to working with others who want to grow in their love, service, and leadership effectiveness. The response from pastors and church leaders has been overwhelmingly positive. Partnering with EQUIP to make this curriculum available to our pastors and church leaders—it’s probably the most value-added service I’ve ever provided.
Rob McCleland, PhD
EQUIP Partnership Testimonial
Rev. Jeff Appling
Outstanding are the tools, service, opportunities, and excellence EQUIP has provided for me. EQUIP’s passion for leadership development and their priority to fulfill the Great Commission is greatly being used of God around the world.
It has been my privilege for twelve years to partner with EQUIP from Maysville to Morocco. The leadership training I’ve received and shared over the years has helped me at home, at church, and now in the world. My life is better because of EQUIP. I thank John Maxwell, John Hull, Doug Carter, and the entire EQUIP team for their investment into me and the Kingdom of God.
As I celebrate my 20th year as pastor of a wonderful church founded in 1802, it gives me great pleasure to recommend the EQUIP organization to you. Having been taught the material, and having taught the material, I would be happy to talk with anyone who needs more information. As they say, “the proof is in the pudding,” well, I’ve tasted it and it’s
Grateful & Thankful,
Pastor Jeff Appling
Find out more:
David Runnion-Bareford, ACR President
L. Faye Short, ACR Coordinator of Leadership Training
“You can go fast by yourself…but we can go far together.”
“…for the equipping of the saints
for the work of the ministry….”