Learning Together to Lead Children

Date Posted: 
Monday, September 21, 2015

The first of its kind, the Children and Family Ministry Leadership Collaborative equips children’s directors

The Synod of the Heartland is piloting a new learning community for leaders of children and family ministries. For 18 months, 12 children’s ministries directors will participate in the Children and Family Ministry Leadership Collaborative, co-facilitated by Kristin VanKampen of the RCA and Pam Kimpson of the Synod of the Heartland.

This group has committed to learning, support, and accountability with the goals of personal leadership development and bringing the learning back to their own contexts for greater kingdom impact. Through in-person retreats, webinars, and peer coaching, participants are learning about volunteer training and recruitment, church staff dynamics, family ministry, missional engagement ideas for kids, and strategic plan development.

One of the 12 participants is Andy Van Ommeren of Alton, Iowa, who attended the learning community’s kick-off retreat in the spring. Van Ommeren writes this about the retreat:

I had the opportunity this spring to spend time with a group of leaders at Lake View Camp near Pella, Iowa. This retreat was the beginning of a one-and-a-half-year journey with a small team of ministry leaders focusing together on leading from the inside out, providing skills required of effective leaders, and reproducing leadership with a goal of “inspiring hope, inciting change, and increasing impact.”

At the retreat, I reflected on how important it is to “surround yourself with those who are on the same mission as you.” Whether [that mission] is to become the best basketball coach we can be or to be most effective in children’s ministry, the idea is the same.

Maybe we could just substitute the word community. We need others!

The same is true for all our dreams, our passions, or our purpose. Do you want to be the best dad, the best husband, brother, sister, writer, or speaker you can be? Does your faith need a boost? Do you want to be the best at whatever that burning desire is fueling inside of you? Then take the time to explore, to discover who God has put in your life and join the community. This journey—your mission in life and leadership—was never meant to be traveled alone.

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