19 years ago I followed a nudge to do what I could to help pastors and the leaders in local churches pay greater attention to the development of their adults. At the time I knew part of the concern was a leadership one, and so much of what I put my hand to was couched in the language of “leadership development.” And, in some respect, I was on to something.
What didn’t take long to discover was that many well intended pastors and leaders needed a “pre-work” to be done with the men and women they wanted to invest in regarding leadership development. I heard the same need echoed from pastors and leaders in various places across North America. As much as pastors wanted to develop leaders, they wanted more to help their adults become mature followers of Jesus. And they needed a pathway to help them get there.
I quickly learned that as soon as you add the word “Christian” to “leadership development” you must assume a long patience toward a foundational work of discipleship. And in light of our experience with pastors and leaders in many churches in North America it seemed as though the chief leadership development need was that of discipleship. Discipleship and leadership development are inextricably linked–they are the same work.
Over the years we’ve put our hands to two things: (1) provide resources and process to help pastors and leaders in local settings deepen and develop their adults, and (2) invite the leadership of local churches to pay greater attention to their own formation and to the effectiveness of the structures and means by which they seek to develop the adults within their setting.
If you’ve been part of the VP3 tribe for some time, you’ve become familiar with our propensity toward enhancing our processes and resources with the hope they will be even more impactful. Time and experience have a way of confirming what is good, transformative and fruitful. What has become clear to us is that the ministry of VP3 provides a pathway for adult development to help deepen and ignite people in local settings toward maturity in Christ. Together, these three processes have a way of instilling a “DNA” of what it means to take seriously a life of apprenticeship with Jesus.
As a result, we’ve seen ordinary people deepened and ignited toward Kingdom life and influence, walking alongside others becoming a way of life and ministry, and churches becoming vibrant places of learning where adults are mentored into a life of apprenticeship with Jesus.
In the months ahead you will be hearing more from us on how to consider this pathway of adult development for your setting, how each of the three processes work together over time, as well as learn about the third process called, Walking With Others, which will be released September 2015. Save the date of April 8th at 12pm central time when we will host a webinar on these themes.
In the mean time here are some questions to consider with a group of others who seem to care deeply about the formation of the adults within your setting:
1. What are you noticing regarding the development of the adults within your setting?
2. How would you describe the pathway for how adults are groomed toward maturity within your setting?
3. What do you find yourself thinking about these days regarding your own development?