Upon first blush, I felt that my first Servant Leader Gathering was a success. Later, I found out that it went deeper than I initially realized.
I was fortunate to have a captive audience – my senior pastor had asked that I present at our annual church leadership training session this past January. There were over 25 leaders ranging in age, ministry leadership experience, and spiritual maturity who were engaged and actively participating.
Several days after the gathering took place, John – one of the leaders who was present at the training – stopped by my office to share his thoughts about the Servant Leader Gathering and, specifically, about the Post-it Note timeline exercise. John began to relate in great detail how much he had dreaded the Post-it Note exercise, quite colorfully I might add, when it was explained in the presentation.
John is a retired head engineer from a very large international manufacturer. He shared that he had participated in “his fair share of these self-improvement exercises over his career to last a lifetime.” He had found them to be a huge waste of time and money, as they had no lasting impact on him nor on his career. At about this point in the conversation I was inwardly cringing, waiting for a well-intended recommendation that it be removed from future offerings of the Servant Leader Gathering.
That’s where God had His big reveal – allowing me to get a glimpse of the work He had been up to through the Servant Leader Gathering! Much to my surprise, John began to earnestly share how this exercise revealed to him, in a way he had not previously experienced, how God had been moving throughout his life and how it had really hit home. He continued by relating the honest and open faith talk which ensued with the two other retired men at the table. This was a new experience for all of them, despite their many years of life experience, and an unexpected blessing from God through a tool John had initially dismissed.
And if that was not enough, my heart swelled with joy when he told me they planned to meet in a few days at the home of one of the gentlemen to continue the sharing of faith and getting to know one another on a deeper spiritual level.
My first Servant Leader Gathering truly contained many unexpected blessings, not only for John and his teammates, but for me as well. This special glimpse of how and with whom God abundantly shared the gifts of faith, wisdom, and growth that day through the Post-it Note timeline was a blessing to me and will help fuel me as I continue to foster and nurture Christ-like servant leaders in my congregation.
2019-2021 Classic KINDLE Associate
Director of Adult Ministries
Fairlawn Lutheran Church, Fairlawn, Ohio
(KINDLE Associates hold Servant Leader Gatherings in their congregations during their Learning Cycle. A Servant Leader Gathering helps church members learn about what it means to be a Christ-like Servant Leader. Participants create a Post-it Note timeline, which helps them reflect on how God has worked through others in their lives.)