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Women in my study, many of whom were exceptionally talented leaders, found themselves relegated to spiritual grunt work based on the idea that women should serve in quietness and submission. 

June 15, 2015 0 3 comments
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This webinar explores why a western worldview has caused the Church to often ignore or deny the reality of Satan and the demonic and, in contrast, what a biblical worldview would have us believe about spiritual realities.

May 20, 2015 0 12 comments
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Because both the denomination and individual congregations have limited resources, we get the biggest bang for our buck focusing on pastors. But what about lay leaders? Do they really matter?

April 20, 2015 0 3 comments
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This webinar explores how healthy boundaries enhance ministry, how power dynamics influence ministry relationships, and how to avoid some of the common pitfalls.

April 8, 2015 0 4 comments
Resource, Webinar Recording

This webinar is for any Christian who desires to grow in their own capacity to be a grace filled presence in the middle of a challenging exchange.

March 25, 2015 0 0 comments
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As a result of being a church pastor in the same church for sixteen years, I have come to the conclusion that the DNA of church planting is in alignment with the DNA of church renewal...

March 12, 2015 0 0 comments
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We all know that deep change in individuals or organizations is rare. This webinar asks, "In these rare instances of deep change, what happened?"

February 18, 2015 0 0 comments
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Is there a business mindset present where profit and loss are looked at; pastoral staff are seen as employees; parishioners seen as customers; and the council as management?

January 19, 2015 0 2 comments
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Shepherds and sheep. Leaders and followers. The Good Shepherd himself spent time being both. Do we teach our leaders how to be good followers? What about our congregations?

December 2, 2014 0 0 comments
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As leaders in the church we can often feel under-thanked. How might we instead develop an 'attitude of gratitude' as we serve those we've been called to lead?

November 12, 2014 0 0 comments
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Leaders cannot balance all the needs, wants, demands, expectations, suggestions and assumptions of the individuals they seek to serve. So how can we be intentional about avoiding the people pleasing trap?

October 28, 2014 0 3 comments
Resource, Workshop or Training, Facilitated by Others

The CRCNA is pleased to offer webinars as a way of learning, sharing, and growing together. It's easy to particpate - all you need is a computer (with speakers or headset). These free, one-hour events are offered several times each year in the spring and fall.

October 22, 2014 0 0 comments
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Do we leave enough space for imperfect people to feel 'called' to be leaders? Do the lists of character traits we seek in our pastors, elders, deacons, and ministry leaders get presented with hefty doses of grace?

October 9, 2014 0 7 comments
Resource, Website

This site offers incredibly user-friendly access to a wide variety of highly relevant and practical articles, sermons, books, training materials and more.

October 2, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Workshop or Training, Do It Yourself

The very real stresses and strains of Christian leadership and ministry life can feel like being crushed and ground. Discover healthy ways of coping and gain insight into recovering from ministry leadership burnout.

September 26, 2014 0 0 comments
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In dealing with the questions around license to exhort, my council asked about the issue of accountability/mentorship for those with license to exhort. What is being done, or should be done to assist those with this license?

September 22, 2014 0 0 comments
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Willow Creek believes in the immeasurable, cascading effect of a transformed leader and has carefully chosen resources designed for individual spiritual growth, renewed church vitality, transformed communities, and a world changed for the better through the power of Jesus Christ.

September 18, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Website

What is distinctly Christian about being a Christian leader? How do my convictions shape the way I lead? You'll find answers to these questions and more on the Leadership Education section of Duke Divinity's website.

September 18, 2014 0 0 comments
Discussion Topic

There is a growing consensus that most of our churches are waiting until it's 'too late' to begin investing in the development of our leaders, often not beginning until they've already taken on the mantle of their leadership role. But that begs the question, where do we begin?

September 12, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or eBook

A practical resource for assisting church leaders in identifying, understanding and intentionally engaging the fivefold ministries of apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds and teachers (APEST) that exist within their congregations.

September 11, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Website

Explore the theory and practice of contemporary leadership approaches, such as adaptive leadership, change leadership, and spirituality and leadership, through articles, books, audio/video podcasts, and online resources, all of which are available at no cost.

September 5, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Website

A visit to Christianity Today's online presence yields a veritable smorgasbord of helpful ministry related resources, including a robust section devoted entirely to church leaderhsip development, divided into 3 distinct areas of development: Soul, Skills & Culture.

September 5, 2014 0 0 comments
Blog

A simple square can serve as a profound reminder of the foundational pattern Jesus used for developing leadership in His disciples. It is a model that is easily applied to any relationship, setting, circumstance or demographic, and is infinitely flexible and scalable.

September 4, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Workshop or Training, Facilitated by Others

Did you know that CRHM currently funds 6 different Leadership Development Networks? Check out the link below for the list and contact the coordinators to see how you or your church could get involved.

August 29, 2014 0 0 comments
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There is no question whether the apostle Paul had the gifts to be a powerful and effective evangelist, but the skills of an evangelist are different from those of a church leader.

August 27, 2014 0 1 comments

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There is also a page for Elders and Deacons on the ServiceLink site, with job description templates for elders and deacons.  These can be modified to fit the specific needs within any given congregation.  You can find them at:

http://www.crcna.org/servicelink/engage/elders-and-deacons

Verlyn,

Thanks for an interesting post on Paul's pastoral sense and strategy.

It's an interesting thesis: Paul learned gradually that local pastors have more influence than out-of-town experts and therefore shifted his strategy from writing letters to churches to writing letters to local pastors.

It's an interesting thesis, which I will explore with my students the next time I teach NT Survey.

But I think it breaks down at a couple of points.

-Paul's letters to Philippi and Thessalonica seem to have been well-received and accomplished their purpose. So maybe the contrast is not so much letter vs. personal presence as Corinth vs. Macedonia.

-It seems clear that Titus was able to turn the situation around in Corinth. This was likely due to his exceptional ability, more than the force of personal presence. Paul's personal presence in Corinth did not always accomplish his goals, any more than his letters did.

-having served in several locations as a local pastor, and on several occasions as the out-of-town expert (including writing "pastoral letters" from afar),  I do not think there is a clear pattern of local pastors having more influence. I have seen it work sometimes one way, sometimes the other.

Maybe the take-away point is: vary your strategy.  Which is, I guess, just what you say Paul was doing.

Thanks for writing,

Thomas Niehof

 

Wow, Jolanda! Gathering all those posts makes it even easier to navigate our way to helpful materials. Thanks. 

Thanks, Larry,

Your summary, sharing made for encouraging reading. It's applicable for planters as well as pastors in "organized" and maybe even declining churches, of which we have sufficient, if not way too many.

I'd like to underscore the one observation/wisdom shared regarding pastoring the sheep the pastor has and not using them just to get more sheep. In observing the church from a more and more removed vantage, I'm seeing a reluctance on pastors' part to be the shepherd, although I'm glad the ranching model appears to have vanished.

"...taking care of people" is the still the pastor's responsibility and it'll receive a promised blessing, as Jesus told Peter after restoring him to his leadership role.

Just some thoughts from a pastor somewhat out to pasture...

George

Thanks for this interesting post, Jolanda!

Hi Larry,

As the Section Administrator for Leadership Development, I wanted to say "Thanks!" for your posting. It's great to see a name other than my own in this neck of the woods. Traffic is growing and I am excited for the dialog that is happening on and off the site about this incredibly important topic. 

This is a fantastic post that gives us lots to think about in our own ministry context, whether we're are a leader or not. As a pastor's wife I know how this list will resonate with the desires of my husband's heart when it comes to the church he yearns to lead. And as a Mission Developer working with a steering team to plant a new hybrid of church plant/campus ministry, this list gives them an opportunity to ensure priorities like these are front and centre when hiring the new ministry leader and establishing a launch team. Anything that causes us to stop and reflect on present realities, challenges them and then motivates us to adjust to the newly discovered 'desires of our heart' is time well spent. Thank you for passing this on to us.

I want to add to the question you posed. So, with the established church as the context, I'd love to hear feedback on which items from this list of leadership wisdom have the greatest potential for church culture transformation? And second to that is the question of where within the church should the locus of change begin for permeating and lasting change? The pastor? A small group of passionate individuals outside of the leadership? Both?

The list is the relatively easy part...but determining (agreeing on) the place to start and starting are two much more difficult tasks it seems. Or do we just make them difficult by seeing the traffic jam and not the destination? One simple, possible, immediate "Yes!" at a time, I guess.  

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the encouragement! You're absolutely right about there being scriptural examples of 'leadership development' that can speak into the formation of a spiraling process. And I am looking forward to diving deeper into those examples to see what Truth we can take from them for today's context. It's going to be a slow and steady study that will, hopefully, also include gleaning stories from those who have been 'developed' through a similar spiraling process and lots of general conversations about the realities of leadership development in our churches. 

I won't get very far on this adventure without the support of interested parties joining the conversation, so please feel warmly welcomed into a continuing dialog. As this is an 'on the side' endeavour, I try to limit my Network time to Thursdays and Fridays, so if you don't get a response, I'm not ignoring you. 

Shalom.  

Several examples from the Bible come to mind when it comes to leadership development. Joshua was mentored by Moses for over 40 years before God finally said it was his turn to lead the Israelites. During this time, he was Moses' right hand man. Moses also gave Joshua challenges which encouraged his leadership skills. 

Of course there is also the example of Jesus and His disciples. He didn't  just teach them but He sent them out to practice what they learned. 

I'm sure there are other examples in the Bible. I agree with you, Gwyneth, when you say "the leadership development process is generally happening after the role has been assumed." Those of us in leadership roles need to be mentoring our co-leaders and replacements now.  We never know when God will decide that it is time for someone else to take our place. 

I look forward to reading your future posts on this subject. 

Ideally leadership and vision should come from the congregation/council as the pastors come and go. Too often, when vision and leadership is left to the pastor, (s) he implements appropriate changes but the congregation balks and pastor/congregation conflict results. When calling a new pastor the church needs to present it's mission/vision and make their calling decision based on which candidate is best skilled to lead in carrying it out. A myth about ministers is that most are basica Lily the same. Granted the functions of the pastor's position are the same (preaching, pastoral care, administration, leading, teaching, coinciding, and handling conflict) and we all receive simular training at CTS, our spiritual gifts are different making each candidate unique.

There was a similar question asked of the Apostles in Acts 6.

"In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, 'It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.' "

This type of pastoral leadership might be seen as passive or even lazy from a modern pespective, but it actually binds the church together by creating trust between pastor, council and the congregation. "Prayer and the ministry of the word" still involves visiting, council meetings and necessary administrative tasks (afer all, the Apostles' decision was made at a council meeting). However, the text does seem to state the preeminent task of the pastor is bringing the Word.

Good question, John!

Preaching is itself a form of leadership.

Both are critical and preaching can and is the avenue which a great chunk of leadership vision is conveyed. It is not a dichotomy at all. But...interestingly enough here are some stats presented through the Strategic Planning process that went throughout North America this past fall. 

This is taken from CRCNA Pastoral Excellence Survey

Source: 2012 Survey by Calvin College Center for Social Research

Here is how CRC Pastors describe themselves:

The 2011 Top 3 pastoral self- perceived skills: Listening and Encouraging, Communication, and Maintaining a non-anxious presence.

The bottom 3 self-perceived skills: Strategic Planning, Conflict Management and Motivating People to perform at their full potential.

 We feel like we can preach (communicate) but we feel like we cannot do the work of Strategic Leadership nor motivate others to lead. However one might weigh which skill is more important (or to what degree) we need to do work in equipping ourselves to better leaders perhaps.

Not clear on why dichomy with respect to vision rests solely with the preacher. Just because an individul is designated a leader does make them leadership material or a good "mensch" leader. If the vision is great but the leadership and/or preaching is wanting, the flock may have a shepherd but not necessarily a Good Shepherd.

Why do you have to choose one or the other? I think both are important. The days of one person being able to do it all (the domine) are long gone.

Great discussion, guys. You both have excellent points here.

However this plays out, I really do believe we need to maintain the theology of “calling” when it comes to issuing and accepting a “call.” Otherwise we're just dealing with getting a "job" out of seminary, with little vocational sensibility between, "Take, eat, remember and believe…” and, “You want fries with that?” Seriously, if we act on the same panic as the average University of Wherever MBA graduate – and use the same methods to secure employment following the completion of our (expensive) education program – are we approaching our "calling" with a proper trust in God's sovereignty? How can we expect others to do so if we do not?

I write this as one who did a bit of investigating into a call before my candidacy was solidified, engaged in some highly questionable “exhorting” on some unsuspecting believers, and participated in some other activities and speech that I may not reccommend to another seminarian. If the process can be improved, then let the brainstorming begin. John, are you up for an idealistic synodical overture?

Sam, good to hear from you! I think there are some very concrete things that could happen. For example, the Evangelical Covenant Church holds regional "ministry fairs" where pastors and churches from the region meet. For example, if you wanted to be a pastor in Iowa. Minnesota, or South Dakota, then you would be paired with the regional director of the area, and they would be working with the vacant churches to find a match. Then, you would attend a "ministry fair" in the area in which every vacant church would attend as well. Before you know it, you have a match. Each student gets paired with a regional director who walks with you to find a call. The CRC hit on this when we had that fair at the seminary a couple of years ago. Pastor search committees of vacant churches came and met with students. But guess who organized it? CTS students. That's the problem. 

After thinking about this a lot, this is probably the best way forward. It wouldn't even require us lifting our synod ceremony which is the big concern for a lot of people. Your thoughts?

John, just wondering what you are thinking of in forms of an overhaul? You list an idea at the end but I'm not sure that's any better than the system they have now. I don't see how that would fix the problem of having some candidates waiting for a call. I followed the rules pretty well and thought it went alright (but I write this from the safety of my church office.) 

The only sure-fire way I can think of is to switch to an appointment system, but that doesn't really fit our ecclesiology or theology of calling...called by God and the church. I'm open to suggestions though.

Hi, Doug,

Thanks so much for responding!  Your insight is very helpful and covers a lot of the various situations - I love the water references you have sprinkled throughout.  Your comments regarding the staff person's own agenda are especially challenging and worth noting.  Thanks for the book suggestions, too.  I have a feeling that you are writing from personal experience.  And "Amen" to your reminder that it's Christ's Church!

Blessings,

Jeanne

"How" a Pastor Leaves may determine the way the rest of staff respond and influence their ability to continue in ministry.  If  a pastor  has prepared his staff for the departure - It can go on very smoothly.

If leadership is assigned that share's the pastor's same ministry direction, It is quite posslbe to remain intact as a ministry team.

Staff's ministry direction - still comes from their job description - Unless the leadership of the church should decide to renegotiate ministry responsibilities for staff members, and spell out whether the changes are  temporary or longer term.

A Sudden departrue by a pastor - is like a youth group canoe trip when someone "suddenly" leaves the canoe - other canoe-ists run in to  save stuff and people and more than likely crash and splash overboard themselves.

Three books I have found helpful in these situations are:  Leadership from the Inside out, by Kevin Harney, Escape from Church Inc, by E Glenn Wagner,  and Leading from the Second Chair  by Mike Bonem and Roger Patterson.

A fourth may be the "Boundaries" book by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. 

A Staff person's own agenda will also play a huge role in how the transition develops.  If we think we can "rush in" and save the day or have an idea that "now they will see what I can do" - could be more like diving into shallow water, you can get very hurt.  You may find yourself running after ego - or power, and be leaving the care of the flock to pursue your agenda,

Remember it is Christ's Church and His power, He is already the Savior, Let His Spirit guide the  response - and wade in slowly and reverently.  He knows His plans for you and His people.

 

 

 

I will second Jack's #1 - prayer, prayer and more prayer  (that's 3 principles, right? =)...   especially time listening together in prayer.. you want the vision to come from the Holy Spirit.  So bring a focus before the LORD, spend time listening for His direction.    Crazy stuff happens when you start "hearing" Him.

If you aren't familiar with listening prayer, you will want to be, so that you can test and discern the thoughts that are shared through this time.  there are some great books on it, I would say Brad Jersak's "can you hear Me? - tuning in to the God that speaks is a very practical one that helps teach concepts on "listening" to the Holy Spirit. 

It seems, we often don't intentionally seek the Holy Spirit's guidance, we just hope and pray that He gives it to us, but it is not intentional, quiet time, listening for what He wants to share.     Lots of reasons for this.

So, I pray that you and your team will be led into His vision that He has prepared in advance for you and your congregation, but I also pray that you will have amazing experiences encountering God through listening to the Holy Spirit.

Hi John,

If what you what you want from a 2 hour vision meeting is a some kind of plan for the future, then there are lots of ways to accomplish that.  And there are very few "rules" if any.  But if visioning is holy, then that's a good place to begin.  So:

Rule #1: Keep it holy.  No 2 minute bookend prayers.  Instead, explore what it means to allow God enter holy community in the room in which you meet.  This requires transparent hearts, with each other and with God.  So begin with sharing and let that lead to prayer. 

Rule #2: Two hours is very short, so don't waste any opportunites.  Use the sharing to start the visioning.  There are lots of good questions to help this along.  You could try: What have you appreciated most about this church?  Which of God's promises speaks most loudly in this church?  Or develop a question that speaks more directly to area of visioning you want to deal with: If you want to vision about the discipleship of youth a useful question might be "What did you appreciate most about the learning that happened in your youth."  Three crisp questions is the maximum you can deal with in 2 hours, so choose them wisely.  So one useful order does like this: 1. What's good about...? 2. What's not good about...? 3. What can we do about that...?  If the discussion gets too vague - the question was likely too vague.

Rule #3:  Two hours is very short.  Either do a longer vision about a narrow topic, or a shorter vision about the big thing.  Or consider this part 1 of several if you can get the rest of your leaders on board.  Trying to accomplish too much in two hours can be harmful.

This is certainly not everything you need to know.  But these are three quick "rules" with potential for a community building, vision meeting.

Jeff,

The CRC's Leadership Exchange recently launced a new website that you might want to check out:

http://leadershipcrc.org/

Your comment brings back good memories, Jeff. I was the director of the 4th Leadership Development Network 2000-2004, the Texas Leadership Development Network. We began with two sites and had three the last year. I know of six of those involved during those four years in full time ministry today. It would be interesting to know how many in all the LDNs that have been in existence are in full time ministry today.

It was great to see late bloomers who would not attend a formal theological education for whatever reason, still be able to get quality training for ministry.

Hi Jeff, 

I havent heard of a 'central site' for the LDN's but the website for the Eastern Canada LDN also contains links to several other LDN websites. You can find it at www.ecldn.ca

As a graduate myself, I can speak to how God used the LDN experience in my life and would highly recommend it to anyone who is wondering what God might have in store for them. 

Frank

Usually, the chair of consistory/council would not be a first time elder, but one who has a bit more experience.   This would make the task less daunting.  As far as continuity is concerned, it is most important to keep the congregation in the loop about most issues.   When there are more confidential issues at stake, then have a transition meeting where both the retiring and "new" elders participate.   If necessary, continue to involve the retiring elders with sensitive ongoing issues until certain issues that need their help are dealt with.  

Marlin, I just ran across this posting and want to respond even though I'm so late.  I'm very excited about the idea of leaders from a cluster of churches getting together to talk leadership!  I encourage you.   I wonder if there is one of the congregations that might be elegible to be the lead congregation in applying for some money from the SCE program.  Next deadline is June 1 so you have some time to develop a proposal.  That would help you establish some good materials and a really good meeting place.

Hi Marlin, Sounds like a good idea. I would like to suggest that each church should ask for people to form a pool of prospective Elders. Those people could receive training and counseling on what is required to be a Elder. Then the congregation could vote for candidates from that pool. Look for people who want to be there not just people who look good; Also terms of serving could be extended for those who want to stay in the roll. If problems arise the church could vote a Elder out.

Thanks

Ken

That's a very interesting concept Jack. I would have to think how the logistics for that to work. I agree with your thinking out of the "box" when It comes to how our church progresses. We need to maintain our strengh of conviction as expreesed in our doctrines but that leaves a lot of possiblitiies in how we structure our church to meet the modern times. God's promicies and word are always consistant but He is also a God of change that is designed within His plan for the world.

Thanks Jack for igniting our thoughts on how to bring "sholom" to our churches.

Ken

A Wild Thought:

Since we have, according to some sociologists, 5 or 6 generations in a typical congregation (Builders, Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, Millenials, etc.) I have an idea.  Some churches try to have equal numbers of men and women in leadership - thus more equally representing the congregation.  Other churches have made attempts at having people of different political stripes in leadership - again to represent the entire congregation.  How about having leaders from each of the 5 or 6 generations in leadership?  That might do a better job of representing and understanding the congregation.  A church council would have equal numbers of teenagers, 20 somethings, 30 somethings, boomers and builders.  Mentoring could be an integral part of that kind of leadership too...

Ken this this is Ken, Pretty wierd huh? thanks for the statement on youth. I am in total agreement. Thankyou for taking the time to speak for my kid's. I'm sick and disabled, I've ineffectively tried to expose this issue(My ineffectiveness). I find myself now with no voice because I can't relate that these same issue's affect me now as it affects youth. I've lost credability because I have trouble navigating society now. So What has this to due with youth? Well I totally believe in  youth because you can think out of the box. Would you consider including adding sick and disabled to your proposal. It's well written and the needs are same, the abilties that people hurt bring are different but can be profound. anyway just think of us another culture. Thanks If something I can help with on this renewal attenpt please contact me.  I promised other disabled members to try and help them with validation in the church and the community.

Hi Sharon,

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. Currently we are making plans to co-host a leadership/spiritual retreat with Calvin College. This will function as sort of a pilot event; if it goes well we hope to reproduce the success at all of the affiliated schools--Redeemer, Dordt, and Trinity--and make it an anual event.

We also hope to be able to support secular campus ministries by providing their student leaders with some form of leadership training workshops.

Thanks for your interest!

Let me know if you have any more questions.

Ken Kruithoff

Hello everyone, and thanks for your great comments!

I thought I should post an update of what has been happening since I first posted this article. You can download a copy of the manifesto that was put together by the young adult leaders that attended the roundtable discussion at the end of August 31st here:

http://www.mediafire.com/?c200vdx8vbke6

Feel free to print it, email it, and share it with anyone who might be interested!

Also, here is the latest Banner article chronicling the event:

http://www.thebanner.org/magazine/article.cfm?article_id=2957

 

Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Ken Kruithoff

Leadership Exchange Young Adult Coordinator

kkruithoff@crcna.org

http://www.crcna.org/leadership

How old were the first chosen Followers of Jesus? I think He sets a good example on youth and Other damaged people.

Ken, thanks for bringing up this crucial topic.  I'm a parent of two great young adults, and I've worked with teen leaders in the past.  I have been very impressed with their level of thinking and spiritual commitment -- far beyond where I was at their age.  I agree with Dave that these current and future leaders need to be specifically encouraged to lead, and the rest of us need to be humble (and flexible) enough to accept their gifts.

Specific question for the Leadership Exchange -- are you working with colleges and universities to help identify young Christians with leadership potential?  Are there other organizations you are partnering with to find youth leaders?

I like the way you think, Dave.  I'm probably preaching to the choir here.  In my expeirence young adults do not feel trusted, valued, or encouraged.   Sure they feel valued that they attend church.  But their perspective about where to go with the church is rarely sought or adhered.

I've encouraged several of our young adults to consider being elders and deacons.  They are conviced they cannot do the job, why?  I'm convinced it's because they have not been encouraged/challenged/taught that they can.   I think they have subliminally received the message from their elders that they are not fit to lead. 

Christian Reformed Church of North America, how badly do we want our denomination to be around in 30 years?  Are we willing to let young adults lead the church to a new place even if it makes us uncomfortable?  

Our young adults need to know that we cannot survive with out them.  I'm not talking only about membership and involvement; we need their leadership and perspective.  We live in a rapidly changing world and we need their leadership and perspective to help us thrive in a rapidly changing world. 

 

  

For the most part, we are completely upside-down in knowing how to engage the next generation.  It really is an epidemic.  I'm convinced that Millenials are actually offended if all we will offer them is a seat at the table.  Until we are willing to listen and be led by these bright young minds, they will not feel engaged in a church body.  That generation does not just want to be welcomed.... they want to have a voice.... and it must be a voice of influence and not just a token vote.  How many CRCs have an Elder under 30?  How many CRCs can't fathom ever having a 20-something Elder in their midst?  Until this upside-down mindset changes, the church will continue to bleed out an entire generation.

I'd love to be part of this discussion....I am a young adult and I was hired at Fresno CRC specifically to minister to young adults.  This is a topic very near to my heart

Hi, My name is Nathalie  27 yrs old &  I'm having my own Youth  called Single Adults Youth Group and it's my first time that I'm a leader for this even reason why im writing i need some advice on what to say on the first day of my meeting. I have been to so many of youth retreats and youth activity but never thought I would have one on my own I actually have talked to the priest and he took so seriously about this and he been asking me about the ideas or activites I'll be having for this even & I showed him and he was happy & last Sunday I have already did a some speach to invite all the Young Adults to come and so far we only have 6ppl & some from other county are coming so me & my partner are really excited but i'm more nervous I just can't wait to start and see whats going to happend. If you have any advice I'm more welling to listen all the time

 

Thank you

Nathalie/

I've been hearing a lot of buzz about Grand Rapids Christian Connect - might be a useful crowdsourcing tool, at least locally.

And for what it's worth, I think you hit the nail on the head in your second paragraph.

At our most recent elders meeting, we discussed this very issue. One easy (but hopefully significant) change we made was to assign young adults to a district separate from their parents. So, for those that grew up in our church, they move from Youth Elder to their 'own' district at the age of 18.

Hopefully that helps remind them - and us! - that they are an adult member/attender in their own right. They'll get the same elder visit as any other member, including a conversation about their participation in the life of the church. And the lines won't be so blurred as when they have the same elder as their parents.

I'm looking forward to hearing what comes of your round-table discussion. Keep us posted.

And, in the meantime, what other things have churches done to be better enfold young adults into the full life of the church?

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