Picture the scene; A Chili’s restaurant, eight Canadian pastors, a couple of staff from The Leadership Centre Willow Creek Canada, plates of nachos, assorted beverages, embarrassing stories, waves of laughter, nods of acknowledgement, winces of shared pain, more laughter.
It’s community. And for the sustainability of leaders it’s absolutely vital.
Following the second information-packed day here at Willow Creek’s Partnering to Prevail mentoring week, this band of Canadian brothers strolled over to this neighbourhood restaurant where we experienced four key facets of life-giving community:
1. A Safe Place: The ground rules were understood; what happens in Chili’s, stays in Chili’s. Nothing inappropriate, simply private. This translated into trust.
2. A Common Life-experience: Everyone in the circle was a Canadian church leader. This shared characteristic translated into understanding.
3. A Value of Shared Learning: With those first two criteria in place, what flowed naturally was an environment where our skills, strategies and stories were freely exchanged. This translated into dynamic real-time learning.
4. A Bridge to Ongoing Relationships: Most of these pastors didn’t previously know each other, but new friendships were forming. This can translate into long-term support and encouragement.
If you’re serious about being in church leadership for the long-haul, I encourage you to include this type of community in your sustainability strategy. Find a group of leaders where you can meet in an environment of trust and understanding, where you can share your skill, strategy and story, and then stick with them over time.
I believe this is so important that The Leadership Centre Willow Creek Canada will facilitate these connections, if that would help you.
For sustainability, community is imperative. Nachos are optional.
How are you building community into your leadership?