LEADERSHIP - A guiding word
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. | Ephesians 2:8-10
God’s grace shapes and informs everything we do in our homes and congregations. It is the starting point for all that God has prepared for us to do. In his grace, God has made you a leader who makes a difference in the world for his purposes.
Our world is constantly changing. As leaders we need to be intentional about noticing the culture of the people and the time. We can lead and serve most effectively when we understand our context. It has never been more important for congregations to develop their mission and ministry plans with the 21st century in mind. Not only do we need to adapt to living with COVID-19, we also live in a society that is becoming more antagonistic towards Christianity. In his book “Being the Bad Guys,” Stephen McApline, a Christian blogger says:
“Christianity is [now] viewed as the bad guy. Christianity is no longer an option; it’s a problem.” The long-held teaching of the Christian faith for the way we view human flourishing, sexuality, marriage and relationships, money, power are seen as “not merely as laughable or outdated but as shameful, harmful and repressive.”
It is important for leaders in homes (parents and grandparents) and congregations (church councils, ministry teams) to understand the issues faced by 21st century children, youth and families. Effective leaders require an openness to learn and explore new avenues of sharing in the gospel. We need to listen and learn from other generations, both young and old.
We love this quote shared by Rich Melheim of Faith Inkubators:
“Every age has gifts we need and every age has needs we gift.”
The focus of our work at Grow Ministries has been to nurture faith in children and young people. We are now learning that by developing relationships with people of all ages, we support faith formation and encourage a deeper relationship with God. Sharing our joys and struggles in life and how God plays a role in these life milestones helps to encourage each other in faith. We refer to this as intergenerational ministry.
In our first Guiding Principle we outline the important role leaders have in helping to develop an intergenerational culture in their congregations. This is key to building a foundation or springboard for developing strong ministry with children, young people and their families.