I have a job that can be nebulous. When people ask me what I do I have to decide whether to give them an answer which satisfies them or the real one. The answer which satisfies is usually ‘leadership development for our staff and partners,’ which is kinda true. The real one is more complex and either doesn’t help or baffles them into silence. I’m thinking about this because these past couple of weeks I’ve been working on my annual evaluation. That’s where I sit down to evaluate the past year, look at the role I think God is calling me to, and make some plans for the coming year. There are forms to fill out and all that, but the most important outcome for me is a fairly clear picture of my direction (and the one short sentence answer to the ‘what do you do?’ question). I’ll be working it all out on the calendar over the next few weeks, but I wanted to share some of this with you so you can get a look at what I’m going to be busy with over the next 12 to 18 months.
I have two main areas of focus: developing a network for church-based training across Europe; and oversight of unstaffed locations and in Europe.
Church-based training network
Simply put, church-based training is the local church engaging in its responsibility to equip the believers, all to maturity in Christ and some to leadership. The predominant model sends individuals from their church to a school where they study for 4 years and then they search for a church which will pay them to serve. In many parts of Europe, that model doesn’t fit the context. Individuals can’t afford to uproot their family to attend school and the local church can’t afford to pay anyone to serve. The model I’m encouraging has the local church training up people from within to serve as its leaders. There are other benefits aside from the financial aspect. The local church provides the context for spiritual and character development and the individual is developed in the ethos of the local church.
My aim in this area is to develop a network across Europe of people who understand the principles of church-based training and are involved in putting them into practice in local churches.
Right now we don’t have any staff in Slovakia or Albania or Moldova, but we have a relationship with a local church or denomination in each of those places. I get to develop those relationships. Sometimes it’s me meeting a pastor or a group of pastors. Other times it’s meeting with denominational leaders or US partner churches. I’m asking questions, offering resources, networking connections and sometimes giving my opinion.
This next year I’ll be exploring some new locations in hopes of developing the beginnings of relationship into more practical partnership.
So, if we’re riding in an elevator somewhere and you turn to me and ask me what I do, you’ll hear one of two things:
I work with pastors and local churches to help them be healthier
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