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Church staffers & lay leaders draw insights at [email protected]

GREEN LAKE, Wis. (BP)–Every Christian may not be a born leader, but they are born-again believers who often take on numerous leadership roles within the church.

Just because leadership isn’t second nature doesn’t mean it’s not a Christian calling, said John Sullivan, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention.

“No one is born a full-born leader,” Sullivan said. “Leadership potential is in everyone God calls. God never calls us for nothing. God always calls us for something.”

That Christian duty to serve, minister and lead others was the focus of the [email protected] Church Leadership Development event July 1-5 at Green Lake (Wis.) Conference Center. LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention sponsored the conference.

“The [email protected] event is an opportunity to train both lay leaders and church staff in developing leadership skills and better equipping them in their church ministries,” said Tommy Keown, event coordinator at LifeWay. “It’s a combination of skill development, leadership training, opportunities for good fellowship, worship and renewal.”

In its second year, the one-of-a-kind leadership development conference is designed to mirror the organizational structure of the church, recognizing the varied responsibilities and ministry areas of church leaders, Keown said.

Therefore, [email protected] offers training in a variety of ministry areas, including leadership development, Sunday School, personal enrichment, music, drama special education, preschool, children, youth/student and adult.

Marlin Robb, a deacon who works with children at First Baptist Church, Effingham, Ill., said he believes churches should cross-train their leaders.

“Most leaders in a church don’t have just one position, and it’s important to have a cross-section of diverse ministries and talents,” he said. “In this day and age, we need good, quality leaders, and we need to continue to learn to be kingdom leaders.”

During the weeklong conference, participants attended a daily worship service and leadership conference led by Sullivan, took part in several core conferences dealing with specific age groups, leadership areas and music ministry. Those attending also could choose from a variety of elective conferences offered each afternoon.

The Green Lake conference gives people in that geographic area the opportunity to get leadership training they might not otherwise experience, Keown said.

“It’s an opportunity to get training in their own backyard with the best conference leaders in the country available to them.”

That opportunity wasn’t lost on the more than 300 people attending the event.

For Jayne Forbis of Rome Baptist Church in Chillicothe, Ill., the conference wasn’t just about learning. It was about experiencing God.

“It’s a strange combination of being exhausted and refreshed at the same time,” she said of the conference. “I think one of the neatest things is that you get to experience your faith without much interruption. I think God gives you what you need when you come to these things. You don’t always know, but he gives you what you need.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: LEADER’S INSIGHTS.

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  • Mandy Crow