Australia: Eighteen young leaders from across eastern Australia recently gathered in two locations to engage in an intentional process of leadership training and ongoing mentoring. These emerging leaders, between the ages of 18 and 35 were chosen by local and district leadership, for concentrated investment and mentoring over the next two years and onward.
The first Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) event was held at Nazarene Theological College on the Australia Northern Pacific District, August 8-12th, with the second being held on the Australia Southern District (Woolongong, New South Wales) August 14-17th. Both events were sponsored by the Australia New Zealand Field in partnership with local district leadership.
“The genius of LDI is that it offers an intentional and methodical pathway for emerging leaders to be mentored into personal growth and greater levels of personal effectiveness,” said Dr John Moore, Field Strategy Coordinator (FSC) of the Australia New Zealand (ANZ) Field. “LDI follows the patterns of Jesus and the Early Church and can be adapted to any context where disciples desire to become servant leaders in kingdom work.”
Each participant or protégé was linked with a more experienced mentor who also participated in the events, the aim of which was to “equip local leaders for global impact,” each day focusing on the ministry theme of, “in Christ, like Christ, and for Christ.”
“The event changed my life in so many ways,” said Emily Richardson, participant from the Australia Northern Pacific District. “I am glad to have someone to help me and share struggles with me now along the way, and also teach me new things.”
Guest presenters were Dr. Ron Benefiel, dean of Point Loma Nazarene University’s School of Theology and Christian Ministry who presented the spiritual formation components and Dr. Ron Lush, founder of Global Initiatives, Inc., who provided Christ-style leadership development aspects.
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As these two Leadership Development Initiatives were the first of their kind to be held on the ANZ Field, additional guests came to observe the program and consider how the LDI could be implemented elsewhere.
These visitors included Asia-Pacific Regional Director, Rev. Mark Louw, Dr. Neville Bartel, District Superintendent of the New Zealand District, and Pastor Vipul Kharat, Senior pastor of the All Nations Church of the Nazarene in Auckland, NZ.
“This Leadership Development Initiative, modeled after similar programs already employed across the Eurasia Region, is both practical and replicable across the Asia-Pacific Region,” observed Louw. “Through the mentor/protégé relationship, the initiative addresses one of the greatest challenges that we face in the church today, namely that of the transition of leadership from the existing pool of leaders to that of the emerging leaders of the emerging culture. While this transition is critical, the process must ensure that the values and message that are central to our identity as the Church of the Nazarene do not get lost in the process.”
The events included seminars for spiritual formation and leadership training as well as times for small group debriefing, community building and conversation. The goal of these sessions was to provide opportunity to digest and process the information presented.
The mentors and protégés will meet together at least two times each month, whether in face-to-face encounters or via Skype or other electronic methods. A significant challenge in Australia is dealing with the vast distances that separate the churches and participants. A follow-up event is currently being planned for each district in November, to coincide with District Assemblies.
A special thanks is extended to John Haines who designed the content used in earlier Eurasia events and who assisted in the Australia LDI by providing materials and encouragement.
Contributors: John and Vicki Moore, Mark Louw