It is hard to believe that we are only 2 months away from ending another amazing year of Fearless Leadership Development with our eight full time residents. They have been working hard, learning a lot, and along the way have managed to have a little fun too.
During Holy Week, our first year residents spent the afternoon at Meijer Gardens where they learned more about sharing their faith and using their environment to help tell the story. What better way to learn about resurrection, transformation and transfiguration than studying butterflies and to practice contextualizing a gospel presentation to the environment. This was also a great opportunity for one of our second year residents to pour into them and share what he is learning about this important part of our faith walk.
You have probably seen them hard at work leading and serving around all three of our Fearless churches in different roles. This year long residency is designed to provide hands on, practical learning in a way that does not just inform them ABOUT ministry. In various different environments and experiences, residents actually DO ministry. We want to see them finish the program having been transformed, not just informed.
As you may know, our vision as a Fearless Network of churches is to make disciples, develop leaders, and plant churches. We know that in order to start as many churches as God has called us to plant (and help plant), we are going to need to raise up thousands of leaders. Some of those leaders will be members of the congregation that are called to go be a part of the team that launches the new works, like all the folks we commissioned to go to Third Coast and Cultivate. Some leaders will be called to go on staff and or serve as pastors, directors, coordinators, etc. The level of training we provide is crucial to the realization of our aggressive vision. We do not want to just a hire teams of outsiders for these roles, although that may be necessary for some positions. Our desire is to raise up leaders from within our community. What better way to get the Fearless DNA then to spend time learning from and doing life with our staff, volunteers, leaders, and members? Think of it as our “farm system”, similar to a teaching hospital or a baseball team.
The goal of a first year resident is to move from “leading self” to “leading others”. They spend a lot of time learning about themselves and how God has wired them up for ministry. They also get first hand experience and exposure in various roles around our churches serving in different capacities. This gives them the time and is a safe space to wrestle with their specific calling in Kingdom work. The hope is that towards the end of the first year, a resident is ready to lock in a “major”.
The goal of the second year resident is to move from “leading others” to “leading leaders”. After a first year discovering more about their calling and learning some of the basics, resident can be invited back for a second year where they are put in a much more demanding role of leadership. They are becoming more responsible for specific areas of ministry in the hopes of seeing them “graduate” into a full time ministry role at one of our current churches or to be commissioned out to a new church.
This next year will be the first year we intend to open up a third year residency. This would be strictly for the Lead Pastor of a new church plant. Although they will likely plant an independent church, we would love to be able to share and pass on our DNA while building our Fearless Network. We know that the most effective means of reaching people with the Gospel is to plant new churches and we are so excited to be able to pour into and partner with planters that share our Fearless vision. Please join with us as we pray for God to make it clear whom our next church planter will be. We have been working with several church planting networks around the country who are also helping us to identify the right person.
So, how can you help?
The deadline for applications for this year’s Fearless Leadership Residency is May 15th. That is less than a month away and although we have received quite a few applications already, but we think there are more great candidates that have yet to apply. We are praying for God to allow us four amazing new residents this year.
Are you considering it? Do you know someone that is? Do you know someone that would be interested if they knew more about it.
Great! Just head over to www.fearlessresidency.com to learn more and to apply… (or send your friend or family member the link). Also, if there is anything more we can do to help you understand more about it, feel free to email our Movement Pastor, Bob Carlton, at firstname.lastname@example.org