Instead of waiting for a veteran candidate to apply, why not cultivate one who may already be planted in your own backyard? We often look outside our church family for staffing, but many of our most creative and passionate leaders grew out of their own local church setting. You may be able to identify someone in your congregation who has heart for children, a mature faith, and willingness to learn. With encouragement and accompaniment, a homegrown leader can have a powerful impact on your ministry.
Any leader can benefit from professional development, and this is especially true for some one who is just starting in the role. There are three ways that our SNEUCC Faith Formation team can help you cultivate, nurture, and support new leaders:
- Communities of Practice (FF CoP)
- My Community of Practice has given me tons of ideas and wisdom which I have taken into my ministry. My group has also been a safe place for me to share the joys, frustrations, and everything in between that this field brings.
- It was very encouraging and uplifting. It gave me hope for the church to hear about the good work my colleagues are doing.
- First, I feel more understood and supported because I can connect with peers doing similar ministry. It is oddly comforting to share similar successes and frustrations. Secondly, I feel more connected to the churches in my community because I now have relationships with other Faith Formation practitioners. It would be a blessing only to have peer support, but to have it within the same communities versus across greater distance makes the support feel more intimate.
- The biggest blessing is the fellowship and camaraderie. Being able to connect and speak with others who KNOW what you're going through is truly priceless. My group is always willing to help and share ideas.
- Connect to resources
Investing in a new leader in these ways will provide a strong foundation of support in which they can grow and flourish in the holy work that is faith formation. With a little cultivation a new leader can blossom and the ministry will bear fruit and bless your congregation.
Debby Kirk is the Faith Formation Team Leader of the Southern New England Conference. She serves on the Faith Formation Team and oversees the Youth and Young Adult Ministries programs of the Conference. She organizes leadership development programs ...