Last weekend was our big training day for leaders. Each year, we take all of our leaders on an anunal leadership retreat. At this year's retreat, we unveiled the theme for the year, Journey: Expect the Unexpected. And we introduced our Discipleship Map.
Three times a year, we gather all of our group and ministry leaders for "summits," which are smaller versions of the retreat.
Our summit formula is pretty simple:
- Connection- we provide breakfast for our leaders. It's a small way of saying "thanks" for investing their Saturday morning into ministry, and it creates an environment where leaders can connect with one another.
- Worship- we recognize that worship is critical for establishing a good leadership environment. Good leaders begin by leading themselves well. That means they find margin to connect with God.
- Vision- Pastor Mark shares with our leaders at each summit. Our leaders are on the frontlines of pastoral care for the church. They need to know what God is teaching him, where God is leading him, and what's on the radar screen for us as a church.
- Leadership Development- at every leadership summit, there is a teaching time. We strategically tie this in to the topics discussed at the Retreat. The 2005 retreat focused on being a team. So we talked about qualities of a team player at the summits. At the 2006 Retreat, we talked about how your prepare for your journey (i.e., you take a map to chart a course, you take a compass to navigate, you take a tent to rest, you take others for community, you take a flashlight to illuminate the way ahead, etc.). During the 2006 summits, we will continue to use journey metaphors to talk about important disciplines or skills in the life of a leader. At this most recent summit, we talked about Binoculars: Clarifying and Enlarging Your Vision.
- Leader Appreciation- we always try to find a way to appreciate our leaders. We have not done a stellar job on that in the past. But we have recently realized the importance of recognizing the good work that our leaders are doing. I throw moonpies to leaders that I use as examples in my talk. At this last summit, I recognized an NCC Visionary Leader and gave them Spy Kids Night Vision Goggles.