When They Prayed
FROM THE BISHOP DAVID GRAVES   I chose the theme of our 2023 Annual Conference session, “When They Prayed,” based on Acts 4:31: “And when they had prayed, the place in which they ...
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Leaders: 7 Ancient Secrets

January 17, 2021

“All leaders are learners. The moment you stop learning, you stop leading. I learn as much as I can, from as many as I can, as often as I can.”  Rick Warren 

The beginning of a new calendar year in the local church is often a time when new leaders are stepping into ministry roles, committees are making plans, and leaders are taking part in visioning and ministry mapping for the new year. It can be a very exciting time! Our context in 2021, however, is different. We are still doing all of these things while also navigating this marathon of a pandemic. Our churches continue to inspire through their adaptability and creativity in reaching people for Jesus, meeting the needs of others, and nurturing their flock. 

Throughout the month of January, new resources are being released to equip and empower leaders in our local churches. This focus launched with Jason Moore of Midnight Oil Productions leading our conference in the BOTH/AND webinar. This live event focused on maximizing hybrid worship for both in-person and online audiences. If you missed the live webinar, the recording is available for a limited time and can be requested by emailing me at allison@sgaumc.com. I hope you will take advantage of all the new “Leading At the Table” resources. Your conference staff is here to connect you to tools and resources to help you lead with confidence. 

I love to share practical resources, and one of my favorite books for leaders is “The Way of the Shepherd” by Kevin Lehman and Bill Pentak. This book’s contemporary parable (a story within a story) shares seven ancient secrets to managing productive people. These principles can be applied to so many different aspects of our lives, both personally and professionally. 

You will find a great article and somewhat of a “CliffsNotes” version on this book here

The seven ancient secrets are: 
  1. Know The Condition of Your Flock
  2. Discover The Shape of Your Sheep 
  3. Help Your Sheep Identify With You
  4. Make Your Pasture A Safe Place
  5. The Staff of Direction
  6. The Rod of Correction
  7. The Heart of the Shepherd
There is a common thread woven throughout these “ancient secrets.” This common thread is in our connection and the way we are in relationship with one another. What an amazing example and teacher we have in The Good Shepherd!

I think the most valuable thing we can do as leaders is to never stop learning. What things are you learning about yourself and your church during this time, and how are they helping you lead? 

There are many resources available to you throughout our connection of The United Methodist Church to learn and grow. Do not hesitate to reach out to your conference staff if you are looking for a specific one. We are here to serve you! Thank you for your commitment and ministry in leadership. Thank you for the ways you teach me through our relationships. Thank you for the privilege to be in leadership alongside you. 

Allison Lindsey is the director of Connectional Ministries. She has a passion for the local church and its people. Contact her at allison@sgaumc.com.

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