Developmentally Minded Leaders

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Almost 12 years ago I was seated around a U-shaped table with about a dozen other like-minded strangers curious about something called “The Journey” and sizing up two men in the room who appeared to be in charge.… Randy Reese and Rob Loane.


Within the first couple hours of our multiple days together, they did more question- asking and listening than they did teaching or talking. The strangers were becoming people I wanted to learn from as well, the atmosphere was safe and welcoming. I could feel myself being authentically invited into a conversation around “what is required to help adults grow spiritually toward Christ and maturity” which we would explore together over the next couple days.


I was hooked!


Everything that I had learned to be true about how adults best learn and grow during my graduate school preparation for a Ph.D. in Adult Learning—which I had every intention of using in an academic or corporate setting—was refreshingly being applied to adults wanting to discover who God is, who they are, and what God wants to do through them for Kingdom purposes.


I was not unique.


Around that table 12 years ago, and every year since, in locations scattered across North America and beyond, the ministry of VP3 continues to uncover developmentally minded leaders.


What is a developmentally minded leader?


Most of you would enjoy exploring this question! They are first of all patient. And they see the potential in others. Developmentally minded leaders (DML) know that everyone can grow and change and is alive with possibility. DML are open to being surprised. They encourage. They listen. They ask great questions. And are curious. They make suggestions and sometimes give assignments for growth as they see fit.


A few years ago, Pastor Aubrey Barnwell, who has been implementing the VP3 Pathway of processes for over a decade shared an observation, “In the church as a whole, there is a whole lot of training, and very little development.”


Pastor Aubrey gave language to what I know to be true.


“DML have become comfortable with the fact that ‘development takes time’ and is unique to each person,” explained Pastor Aubrey. “Training is repeatable and can be replicated. For instance, you train someone to run the soundboard and you can get similar outcomes. Or hope to!”


Are you a “developmentally minded leader?” What other descriptors would you use to define this kind of leader?


Is there a developmentally minded leader in your midst looking for a new assignment?


Becoming a facilitator for one of the VP3 Pathway of processes (The Journey, A Way of Life, and Walking With Others) provides a front row seat to some of God’s best developmental activity.



About The Author

Pam Edwards

Pam supports the ministry of VP3 by thinking about best practices for Adult Learning and Growth, with a particular eye on those who facilitate our processes in the local church. She believes in the capacity of adults to find answers, uncover mysteries, and work together for the greater good in all things near and dear to their heart, mind, and soul. She has lived exclusively in the nation’s heartland…Iowa. Her BA and Masters degrees are from The University of Northern Iowa in a mixture of Communication, Marketing and Journalism. Her doctoral work was completed at Iowa State University in Adult Education (Ph.d). She has been inside many different organizations as a consultant. Prior to joining the VP3 staff she was on staff in the local church leading Adult Spiritual Formation and implementing the VP3 processes. She and her husband Terry have three adult children and four grandchildren.
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