In my 41 years of ministry, I’ve learned that building spiritual formation in congregations and communities might require a change of pace. Earlier this summer, I passed the threshold of my 41st year in ministry. My career began in the local church for 11 years, followed by 14 years at the helm of a regional ministry, capped off by the past 16 years with Leadership Transformations.
The big idea I’ve discovered along the way is that in local church and parachurch ministry settings, we have bought in to the idea that bigger, better, bolder, new, next, now is the mantra of ministry life. We are in constant pursuit of growth (bigger), effectiveness (better), the big splash (bolder), the latest trends (new), our strategic initiatives (next), and it all needs to be done “yesterday” (now). Does that sound like your collective team mindset?
What if we upended that, even for a season, and sought to live at a different pace that would enable us to actually deepen our knowledge of God through experience and allow us to intentionally pursue ministry that is focused on relationships and being more fully known? Would we have collective jitters about the result? Or, would we welcome it with open arms?
The LTI mantra is as the leader(ship) goes, so goes the organization, but, more importantly, as the soul of the leader goes, so goes the leader. We see this over and over and over again. Another way to say it is it’s all about leadership and it’s all about the souls of leaders. Our ministry comes alongside leaders and teams to help them live and serve in a soul-centric way.
Recently, I came upon the Godspeed film, created by Matt Canlis, a pastor who learned the hard way what a different-paced life and ministry looks like, including appearances of N.T. Wright and Eugene Peterson. If you haven’t seen the Godspeed film, I encourage you to take 30 minutes to do so. I promise you’ll be challenged, encouraged, and blessed. And, like so many others, I presume you’ll be rocked by the core message of “genuinely living at the pace of being known.”
Our upcoming Symposium on Spiritual Formation for Congregations and Communities promises to be a transformational experience! We have invited Matt Canlis to join us, and we believe his message is timely for all. We are fortunate that he was available to come, because, given his rigorous pursuit of living at the pace he speaks about, Matt hardly ever travels to speak at events like ours! Susan Currie, Suz Skinner, Jeremy Stefano, and Rick Anderson will also be joining us for this event!
I look forward to spending October 16-18 with you at the Symposium. And, if possible, bring your team! I firmly believe it’s time we all learn to live and serve at the pace of being known at Godspeed.