Every other Tuesday morning I meet in the early morning with the men who are leading in our Lakeview and Lincoln Park congregations. Our time is focused on spiritual formation and brotherhood. I have learned (the hard way) that church leaders engaged in mission need to be intentionally gathered, shepherded, encouraged and aligned together. Haphazard and occasional is not a sustaining approach to keeping leaders. I have come to the conviction that, after my wife and my children and along with staff, this is my most important investment of leadership attention, relationship, prayer and time within the church. This group was birthed from about 5/6 months of prayer, consideration, fasting and seeking input. In other words, I went slow which is physically painful for me. There were a lot of men I would love to have included in this group but in the end I had to make tough decisions based on several factors:
- Is the man currently leading a key part of the mission at Lakeview/LP? (Potential was not a key consideration--current "skin on the table" was key.)
- Is he a man who passess muster for the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:8-13?
- Is there an even leadership distribution/coverage between the 3 congregations (LKVW a.m., LP a.m., LP p.m.)?
- Would I entrust my family to this man in a crisis?
This paragraph w/ bullets is the fruit of about 8 years of trial and error, failure, biblical/theological development, tears, frustration and prayer. (Hey for some of us, learning happens a little slower...)