Where Can One Go To Develop Leadership
Greetings and peace friends and family in Christ. The Focus today is a ministry that developed in response to a North American Ministerial Council, NAMC, motion calling for Districts to provide training for local elders and deacons. In the General Conference Church of God (Seventh Day) Southwest District, GC COG7 SWD, the choice for responding to that request was to establish Schools of Leadership and to broaden the purpose. The SWD Leadership Schools are a tool, a service ministry, for Local Churches to assist them in developing core leaders within the Local Church.
Today, I saw several teenagers playing music very skillfully. Sometimes they did it as duets, trios, or quartets and their music was beautiful. It was obvious they had received training in playing each of the musical instruments and voice, also. This is something rare these days. Few youth and young adults are schooled in music to a level they can perform complex music skillfully. I wonder what is the ratio between training levels of musicians and leaders? I wonder which is more essential. I rejoiced to see the young well-developed musicians. I rejoice more when I see the young perfomring as well-developed leaders.
In the SWD there are currently three Schools of Leadership, one in the Greater DFW Area, another in the Greater Houston Area, and one in the Greater Lower Rio Grande Valley Area. The SWD Leadership Schools are designed to respond to the request of the NAMC to provide better trained elders and deacons for Local Churches. That purpose branches into two directions. First, it provides high school level training to develop a knowledge base and expectation of those who would become leaders, particularly Local Church elders and deacons. Second, it serves as a remedial or preparatory school to develop students who are not yet ready for the college level classes of Artios Christian College. In some cases, the classes have extended beyond focusing on training for Local Church elders and deacons and included training musicians, classroom teachers, worship leaders, public speaking, and other positions in the Local Church. In its response to the NAMC request, curriculum could justifiably include writing composition and grammar, A second language, Local Church infra-structure, Boards-man-ship, and perhaps other areas.
The schools have experienced highs and lows and have sometimes been inconsistent in schedule and curriculum. Still yet, however, a couple hundred or more students in total have attended classes at one or the other of the SWD Schools of Leadership. Also, the SWD Schools of Leadership are still in their infancy and the SWD Leadership School Directors are trying various changes so the schools will serve their purposes and achieve the commission assigned to it by the NAMC. Some, including the District Superintendent, believe the SWD Leadership Schools should become more mainstream by 1) developing the schools that currently exist to have a more cohesive and consistent curriculum, 2) expanding the number of SWD Leadership Schools to include the remaining areas of the SWD not yet being served, and 3) including in the curriculum at least one Artios Christian College class, such as LEA 111, to allow the students a natural transition from the high school level Schools of Leadership to the college level of Artios Christian College. As challenging as the Leadership Schools are to operate, they have born good fruit in the advancement and development of disciples for service. It seems within reach of what has happened so far to reevaluate or calibrate the SWD Leadership Schools to fit more consistently into a Junior College context by developing a Ministry Partnership with Artios Christian College to provide an on-site classroom as an option for some classes. Artios Christian College has greatly increased the quality of education for those aspiring to all kinds of Christian Ministry. But just because the District Superintendent, one or more Leadership School Directors, and at least one Artios Christian College Dean share that hope, there are many details to be addressed before it can become a reality. But given the amount of dialogue that has gone into considering that possibility, it is worth mentioning so you may include it in your prayers, thoughts, and input to SWD Staff.
SWD Leadership School Directors:
- Greater DFW: Elder Javier Ramirez
- Lower Rio Grande Valley: Elder Noe Reyes
- Greater Houston: Elder Jhabel Chagollan
The SWD Leadership School Directors have selflessly devoted themselves to building the next generation of leaders. They have been faithful without much encouragement. I hope you might take time to tell them thanks for the work they have done.
Speaking of their devotion to be part of the development of leaders for the next generation, the Church stands or falls on one generation. Seeing we value the Kingdom cause of Jesus Christ so much, we do well to pay close heed to the impact we are having, great or small, on the next generation.
Psalm 78:4-6 ESV
We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children,
Psalm 71:18 ESV
So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.
1 Peter 2:9 ESV
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Psalm 145:4 ESV
One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.
Psalm 145:3-4 ESV
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.
Psalm 22:30 ESV
Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation;
Psalm 48:12-14 ESV
Walk about Zion, go around her, number her towers, consider well her ramparts, go through her citadels, that you may tell the next generation that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Deuteronomy 32:7 ESV
Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.
And the next generation, your children who rise up after you, and the foreigner who comes from a far land, will say, when they see the afflictions of that land and the sicknesses with which the Lord has made it sick—
Matthew 11:8 ESV
What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.
Ecclesiastes 1:4 ESV
A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.
Ezekiel 16:49 ESV
Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.
It is time for those full of the Holy Spirit to come to the aid of the spiritual newborn, young or immature believing disciple of Jesus Christ and guide them as they mature through the power of the Holy Spirit into tomorrow’s servant leaders.