It’s hard to talk about what we are looking forward to in 2018 without talking about what happened in 2017. Lots changed, including my role. I am now the Director of Leadership Development, a role that combines elements the Church Health department and the Personnel Department.
Now, 2018 will be a year of figuring out all the implications of this change. In one sense, I have no idea what it will all look like. But there are some things that will happen that I am looking forward to. What would that be? Glad you asked.
- Regional Coaches. One of the things that I am most excited about is the addition of 6 regional coaches to our team. Their role will be to come alongside churches, pastors and boards to encourage and equip them as they do all they can to be a healthy church taking responsibility for their community. A main part of their focus will be church health. I am anticipating that their work will help us as a movement be more proactive when it comes to matters of church health. These coaches will help us have more frequent contact with churches and leaders and help us be more responsive. Please pray for Vern Frudd, Seth Freeman, Mary Lee DeWitt, Steve Cylka, Roxanne Goodyear and Philippe Reichenbach as they begin these important roles.
- One of the things Bishop Cliff is encouraging us to do is build teams of practitioners, experts and thinkers to help us keep asking “What’s next? And how can we be ready to respond to whatever that is?” So 2018 will see the building of a Church Health team. As we have thought about this, one of the most exciting aspects is that this will be a team of folks from other movements who care about this stuff too. I look forward to working with other denominations to strengthen the Church in Canada. So that’s the Church Health side of the equation. What about the Personnel side?
- Teams part 2. Along with a Church Health team, there will be a Leadership Development Team. These team will help us think, evaluate and dream about how we can raise up and equip leaders for all kinds of ministry – local, national, international, lay and clergy. I hope this team will talk and dream and then develop tools to help us raise up and develop all kinds of leaders for all kinds of ministry. Discipleship, internship, mentoring – it is all on the table. Of course MEGAP will continue to function as well and you can read more about some developments here https://www.fmcic.ca/mosaic/meet-our-new-credentialing-coordinator/
- I also look forward to getting to know our next generation of leaders as well. That will mean connecting with folk considering ministry at the local church. And we want to continue to strengthen our relationship with both Bible Schools and (most importantly) with our students who attend those schools. We will continue to connect with students at Tyndale and Briercrest (already started) as well as wherever else FM students gather. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of developing the next generation already inside our churches. You can read more about that here https://www.fmcic.ca/mosaic/we-have-not-forgotten-our-youth-and-children/
That’s a lot. But it is exciting to imagine what might start to happen as we continue to build and dream and pray and work together. As we imagine what’s next for the Free Methodist Church in Canada, we know that will need both healthy churches and healthy, developing leaders. So that’s what we will continue to work on.