How God equips the called through Leadership Academy
“You are enough.” These powerful words were spoken to each of us as we were anointed and commissioned to return to our congregations at the end of the “Change the World Conference” at Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church in March 2017. An important part of participating in the Upper NY Leadership Academy, is the incredible road trip we took to one of our United Methodist mega churches in ministry in the Dayton, Ohio area. We were amazed and inspired by the leaders and presenters as they shared the honest heartaches and challenges, along with the joys of relevant ministry in the context of their communities.
Often, we hear that “God is enough,” but hearing that “we were enough,” reminded us that God doesn’t “call the equipped,” but “equips the called.” Leadership Academy is about equipping us with the tools and leadership competencies to become the transformational leaders our congregations and ministries need to become vibrant and relevant to the churched and unchurched in our communities.
Set in a retreat-style format, Leadership Academy enabled us to be away from our normal ministry settings, so we could be more intentional about learning from the gifted presenters. The informal time outside of the presentations provided us the opportunities to ask the presenters any questions we had about their expertise and thoughts on leadership. We learned from the other people in our class as we reflected and shared our ideas and experiences. We also developed lasting friendships with each other. The Rev. Aaron Bouwens, Upper New York’s Director of Vital Congregations, inspired each of us to integrate what we had learned.
When we use the tools that Leadership Academy gives us, we will be empowered to work with our congregations and God to plan where our ministries are going. This brings a new level of excitement and engagement that helps to make our ministries relevant to the life of our communities. With God’s help, we are enough.