For anyone who is wondering what I’ve spent the past year doing, here is a very tiny snippet of the internship that I have just finished for my placement year. I had the privilege of being involved with various types of ministry within the church but here’s one aspect I wanted to share some standout lessons from.. happy reading!
1. The power of authentic leadership.
I am a green! One of the very first bits of training we did as part of the course was to do with colour leadership styles. I loved this session because it allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the people I had the privilege of serving in my church and seeing how they would understand me. The message that stood out to me most that residential weekend, is that your leadership will always flop if you spend all your energy leading as though you were someone else. In all Jesus’ time on earth he didn’t expend energy leading with judgment as some synagogue leaders did, He led with a different approach, in love for those He served. This was not simply so they would follow him but rather that they would know the heart of God for them.
Authentic leadership is loving, humble, creative, communicative, passionate, emotionally aware and so much more! I sure haven’t mastered all of this in 10 months, but I have a new-found confidence that developed by spending time with my church leaders who gave me the grace to succeed and to fail.
2. We are all called to GROW through accountability.
Accountability: the fact of being responsible for what you do and able to give a satisfactory reason for it or the degree to which this happens.
Not all of us like this word, it puts us on edge, maybe a little bit guilty about where we’re really at? I was the same when I heard that coaching was part of our course. I thought that it would be like being at uni where you’re given a list of tasks to do by a set deadline. But my coaching sessions weren’t like this at all!
First, my coach Suzanne (one of the loveliest people I’ve ever met!) instantly made me feel at ease about our Zoom sessions and what coaching really was. From there she asked me some leading questions about where I was and what I wanted to achieve/any skills I wanted to develop during my SOW year. The 3 goals we set each session were a mixture of leadership skills I needed to develop during my internship year and some personal goals for my physical and mental health. Every goal we set was reviewed 3 months later for progress and rather than a checklist, we critically reviewed any progress adjusting any goals that needed development. I’ve learned that I actually make a lot more progress when I share my goals with other people. It’s no wonder God constantly calls us into a loving community, having people who challenge and affirm you encourages us to work smarter and dream bigger.
3. “Aim for excellence but never at the expense of glory.”
– Jarrod Cooper
In our last residential, we looked at this quote, in our attempts to lead others in worship we must never place style over substance. Learning a song and accompaniment inside out is a great gift as not to torture our congregation every Sunday. However, our personal practice time should never replace our time in the presence of God. Do not neglect the growth that comes from reading the word of God daily and pausing to hear his voice. Find your mountaintop and don’t let yourself get into the habit of just doing the church stuff.
In summary, I have grown a whole lot. I have learned to enter the doors that God opens for me, rather than pacing in front of them. I am learning to identify my strengths and surround myself with people whose strengths are my weaknesses.
Not all the lessons above are exclusive to leadership roles, in whichever sphere of influence you find yourself in, wherever you are, whatever you do. In your studies, work with a spirit of excellence but don’t push aside your devotional time. In the workplace, be authentic, present your passions and be creative. And in your day to day, find friends/mentors who will challenge you to be your very best.
If you’d like to learn a bit more about the Elim SOW programme, head to Elim SOW 2020
Or you contact us:
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