Developing Leaders to 'Lead From the Heart'
By: Rev. Jeanette Ham
Our Leadership From the Heart class concluded last week with 12 people journeying together over 10 weeks to understand, learn and live out servant leadership.
The core learning of this study is that leadership within the church is not as the secular world defines it; it is servant-leadership where we submit our life to be guided by the Holy Spirit and Word of God, share our faith with others and serve with passionate commitment in ministry.
The class attracted folks fairly new to Foothills as well as longtime members looking to enrich their knowledge and lives in this way. Participants grew closer in relationships through this study due to one- on - one sharing time each week, the spiritual disciplines and through their accountability partners.
New Foothills member Mark Rosenberger shared that a valuable takeaway from the class was knowing that he could be authentic while sharing his faith.
Mark said, "Being relatively new to Foothills, I had the opportunity to make good connections with a variety of people that involved a a variety of topics. Some of these topics encouraged us to think differently, some challenged us, and in the end we worked through it together."
Class participant Lauren Humphrey has been attending Foothills for the last 6 months. She shared, "It's been an eye opening experience for me. I really enjoy what our church is about. My biggest takeaway from this class experience, is that we should always strive to come from a Godly place in listening to our heart and God speaking in our lives."
Developing leadership skills also means knowing how each of us are uniquely gifted in the Body of Christ. Participants discover their spiritual gifts and also how to see and affirm gifts in others. This is particularly important in creating and sustaining healthy ministry teams in carrying out the mission and vision of the church. Teams can sometimes get "caught up" in doing the work. We discussed that leading healthy and effective teams means that it's just as important to take time to care and encourage team members as it is to accomplish the work and tasks of ministry.
As leaders we are also called to invite, connect and equip people for ministry. Guest speaker Susan Naslund, our Foothills Mission Chairperson, modeled for us the inviting and connecting concept as she shared why she feels "called" to lead in the Missions ministry at Foothills and invited class members to participate using their unique passions and gifts for service. Several of these folks have already taken Susan up on her invitation!
Finally, every class needs effective leaders to facilitate and lead class and group discussions. We were so fortunate to have Ann Marie Bryan to co-lead this study. Thank you Ann Marie for your energy, time and commitment!
Stay tuned for additional Servant Leadership development opportunities coming up in the fall.