About four years ago, the KINDLE Board of Directors were looking at the vision and mission of KINDLE and recognized a need for evaluation and revision.
“We brought together a pivotal group in our community; determined we could be open to more variety in the second chair leaders we serve,” said current Board of Directors President, Mary Stafford-Nunez.
She continued, “There are a lot of resources for leaders in general, but not necessarily those in second chair roles. We wanted it to be an all-inclusive
invitation to those in congregational settings, but also in other ministry settings.”
Jim Bradshaw, chair of the Board’s Strategic Direction Committee, shared more about the process: “The journey to review the mission and vision came through a Spirit-led time, when the Board granted approval to finance a consultant to help us clarify our niche. We had an intense retreat session and followed up with the consultant.
“In that process, a new vision was created, received, and embraced. The term ‘premier resource,’ caught the attention of the Board and they continued to ask for refinement.”
There was much excitement about this terminology and how it could broaden the KINDLE vision in their focus to equip second chair leaders.
For Jim, this new vision encouraged an expansion of perspective: “The KINDLE model is not just for professional church workers. This vision helped in embracing the concept that a lay leader could receive the training and multiply the ministry in their own settings. They could have an impact beyond the local congregation.
“KINDLE is about faithful people following a faithful God. This organization has been grounded in faith from the beginning.”
“We have a common understanding that ministry is for the church at large. We weren’t needing to shift any of our core values. We updated the vision, stepping out in faith to recognize that there are other second chair leaders in our church: deacons/deaconesses, parish musicians, etc. … and lay leaders who could be equipped as well.”
In the development of this revised vision, it is important to celebrate the ways KINDLE is already a premier resource for second chair leaders.
For example, Mary points to … “the creative influence of the Program Team
and Operations Council (mostly made up of volunteers) in the ways that they find to produce and deliver content that focuses on building a Christ-like servant leader.”
“With a new vision, comes dreams and hopes for the future. I would love for Directors of Christian Education (DCEs) and Associates who have gone through KINDLE training to search out these leaders in their settings. There are also second chair leaders in the international mission field that are desiring to be connected and to connect to others. To hear pastors share excitement shows the validity of what we do,” Mary added.
Jim shares hope for what is to come for KINDLE. “The future of the organization is to serve a broader audience. It enhances team ministry, it enhances the ability to build teams in person and digitally … The pandemic helped us realize that it was necessary to look at new ways to deliver the material to serve others.”
While it’s been a few years since the revisioning process, there’s still work to be done in communicating the new terminology, both to the current KINDLE community and potential new connections.
“We are identifying groups of second chair leaders to begin relationships and make connections to help them invest in how the resources could be used in their unique settings,” said Mary.
She added, “There are so many ways leadership is paving the way: the intentionality of outreach that Michelle Pavasars is doing, the development of the podcast and its review of second chair leader definition, the Advancement Team focus on telling the story, just to name a few.”
The Board recognizes the work that comes with a new vision.
Jim emphasized, “This is a major undertaking of the Board and staff together, to bring to the forefront material that is clear on what it means to serve in the second chair. We can sharpen the focus on the laity component, not veering away from training professional workers as well.
“It’s a matter of helping educate the wider community to understand that second chairs are Christ-like servant leaders who are leaders in the congregation beyond professionally paid workers.
“We don’t want to stray from who we are as baptized, beloved, children of God. I believe our KINDLE model will stand the test of time as we celebrate our baptismal identity. We have to be clear about our purpose and that we have something valuable to share.”