Leadership Needs Drive Antioch School Cohort
Posted by Joel Peterson | Published January 22, 2018
Who wants to wake up on at 7:30am on a Saturday morning for a class requiring intense discussion and participation? Over the past three years a group of emerging leaders in the Ames City Church have been doing just that. We walk in with our coffee in one hand and a heavy Leadership Series courses in the other. Not quite energized at first, we fumble to find our seats, but when the topic starts moving, and the scriptures are opened, our eyes widen and we sit up straight. The future of the church, the health of our people, and the state of our city is at stake. The meetings have started early in the morning and sometimes end late in the night.
Losing a little sleep is worth it, because we have been engaged in a process of maturing each other, getting a solid grasp on the scriptures, and understanding what Christ desires for his church. Going through BILD courses such as Acts, Pauline Epistles, and Essentials of Sound Doctrine, equip us for the work of ministry God has laid before us. Life and Ministry Development takes the knowledge we have gained and puts that into practice within our churches. We learn how to refine and specify our areas of ministry by using tools like SIMA and Personal Development Plans (PDP). SIMA is a tool that outlines our motivations so that we can recognize an effective role in ministry. We put together a PDP, which is a document that lays out goals and plans for development in ministry. It also acts as a tool that mentors use to keep us on track.
At times it is difficult to see the significance of what we are doing. Why do I spend my time reading instead of watching the next TV show? I have continued to see the answers to the that question. Since taking the Essentials of Sound Doctrine course, for example, I have found it easier to state the gospel proclamation. When I lead our churches in the bread and cup we reflect upon Christ and the core of the gospel. Being comfortable and confident with the kerygma is a result of the diligent studies, and results in further establishment of our churches.
As I think about the leaders who have taught me and directed me in life, I am grateful for their many years of continued study and devotion to Christ and the Way of the Apostles. Because of their diligence I am being formed into a mature man who can be equipped to lead in our churches. That gives me all the more urgency to work hard now, to learn, grow, and know the Word of God.
As the network in Ames and Des Moines grows, the need for mature leaders is felt close to home. North Campus church began to fill all the space it could at the Beckett’s home (which is already a large house). When the time was right and leadership thought it was best, a new church was planted. Out of that development, yet another church was planted, and the churches collectively help to shape the life of the community overall. Are we pursuing Christ and his truth today so that the next generation of churches will be expanding and becoming more established? This is the question that motivates me to get out of bed early Saturday morning, to read instead of watch TV, and to take seriously my development in maturity, so that Christ’s church grows and matures.