Growing Leaders Night Away

The Growing Leaders weekend began with the inevitable satnav search for Barnes Close Conference Centre. It's funny how a place so close to a motorway junction should be so difficult to find. Maybe it was just me, but driving through the circular tunnel under the motorway and up the muddy track didn't fill me with confidence that I was on the right track. But as it happened, I was.

After wine, nibbles and a pleasant meal (including a fantastic chocolate sponge), we sat down to start the course. A brief look at the aims was followed by the intriguing 'bring an object' event. The challenge of this is to present how a random object that you can find represents an aspect of your relationship with God. Many different objects appeared, ranging from a toothbrush, through a polo mint to 'Derek the Badger' – a small statue that a participant had found somewhere in the venue.

The 'formal part' of the evening closed with worship and a meditation on Psalm 8.

After breakfast the next day, session 1 started with worship. The participants began by sharing initial reflections on leadership on a grid. In the section on immediate thoughts of leadership the words chosen included:
  • Military
  • Nurturer
  • Set apart from a group
  • Someone who's balanced
  • Someone Authority
  • Someone with Vision
  • Someone who's dedicated

What makes someone a leader?
  • Authority
  • Risk taker
  • Humility
  • Vision
  • Enthusiasm
  • Empathy
  • Competence
  • Boundaried
  • Opportunities
  • Integrity

Here's another Wordle that sums up some desirable leadership qualities.

Leaders from the Bible came next. The list included: Moses, Deborah, Joseph, peter and Lydia. After some study we wrote down what we can learn from these leaders on a flip chart. Here's what people said we can learn from leaders in the Bible.
  • Listen to God and be faithful to God
  • Leadership can be hard
  • God can use our circumstances
  • Listen to God
  • Even when we make our mistakes, God still uses us.
  • God calls and then equips.
  • Take risks
  • Listen to God
  • Build on what went before.
  • Willingness to do do what she was asking of others.
  • Don't judge by appearances.
  • God will make good on his promises.
  • OK to test your calling
  • Listen to God
  • Be courageous – be prudent.
  • Willing to be lead.
  • "God will get you in the end".
  • Humble
  • He responded.
  • Be persuasive and urgent.
This is summed up in this Wordle.

In the bible study that followed, each group came up with marks of Jesus leadership and summed it up in one sentence:
  • Jesus always reflects the nature and character of God.
  • As a leader, Jesus took his directions from God; was ice cool when under pressure and had assembled the right team for the tasks ahead and is articulate enough to communicate strong messages in an accessible tone.
  • Jeus is challenging, confrontational, but compassionate.
  • A unique, humble, visionary and compassionate leader, given authority and direction by his Father to respond to needs decisively and empower others.
The attached pictures show the results of this bible study.

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