In 2008 I decided to register for this program called “KINDLE.” A few people I respected said it was great and I was at a point in ministry where I needed something great.

I was blessed to learn at the feet of Sue Steege, Jack Giles, and Bill Karpenko. I had the blessing of my “cluster,” as learning circles were called back then. With a mixture of apprehension and excitement I brought what I was learning into my congregation, and it was received in amazing ways! I was hooked.

At my evaluation with Sue I said, “I will be back.” The path back took me through serving on the KINDLE Life team, leading a Servant Leader Workshop, coaching, and then serving as Dean of KINDLE Recent Graduates. Eventually, in 2013, I was asked to join Classic KINDLE as an apprentice instructor under the leadership of Jack Giles for the 2014-2016 Classic KINDLE cycle. Sadly, Jack was called to his heavenly glory before the start of the learning event, and I went from apprentice instructor to rookie instructor with some huge shoes to fill. 

From 2014 until today I have been blessed to instruct and serve as part of the training team for each of the four learning events in each learning cycle.  One of those learning events creatively blazed a trail through the heat of the COVID epidemic. 

As one of the instructors for Classic KINDLE, I plan, create, and deliver the rich content of KINDLE to the Associates. I am also available to dive deeper into the content at the learning event and between learning events as needed.

At the first learning cycle I instructed, delivering that content was incredibly intimidating. How was I going to teach concepts, practices and “DNA” developed and refined by individuals that I consider to be giants in the field? By the grace of God and with the support and encouragement of Dean Sue Steege and fellow instructor Lisa Hellyer, along with the steady kindness of chaplain Joel Symmank, we made it through the abrupt change of instructors. 

Over the years, I have gone from feeling like I am trying to fill someone else’s shoes, to feeling comfortable in these shoes, to helping design the next generation of footwear. Besides instructing, as a part of my role I have been blessed to sit down with the other members of the training team on two occasions and reimagine how we share the vital content KINDLE offers as well as meeting the ambitious objective for fostering and multiplying Christ-like servant leaders.

Through prayer, going through Associate evaluations, self-evaluation, and general observations Classic KINDLE looks much different now than it did when I attended or even when I first started instructing. This difference is not about better or worse. KINDLE changes to meet the needs of the 2nd chair leaders as they are today and that naturally means adjustments are made. Helping make those adjustments is an exciting part of my role. 

Working as a part of the Classic KINDLE training team has helped me to grow as a 2nd chair leader. While I am serving as instructor, I am also learning from amazing second chair leaders serving on the training team and attending the event. At each learning event I grow as I teach and as I listen. I am always excited to take what I learn back to my congregation at Redeemer.    

Michael Harvey

Instructor, Classic KINDLE Training Team

Director of Faith Formation, Redeemer Lutheran Church

Rochester, MN

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