Our senior staff recently evaluated the 2017-2020 Strategic Plan, as the year-and-a-half mark of the three-year plan approaches. It was a valuable exercise as we determined how each of our departments were meeting their goals or even if some of them needed to be revamped. For the most part, each of our areas were either on target or above for meeting or accomplishing their goals.
Looking at the critical areas of Leadership Development, Church Health, Home Missions and International Missions, our desire to be supportive and helpful to churches as we work together as a denomination continues to be the main objective. However, our denominational structure and independence can create a challenge in forming pathways for ACGC to help churches become healthy, reproductive and developing leaders for pastoral and missional work.
When Berkshire Christian College suspended operations, the loss to our denomination was not just the education of leaders, but also the identifying and recruitment of leaders who feel called by God into various ministries. It is vital that we again begin to think about identifying people that God calls into vocational ministry through our camps, churches, youth programs, conferences and regions.
I remember the Berkshire faculty and students at my camp in Georgia talking with me about my call to ministry and how God would prepare me. God used them to lead me to Berkshire Christian College, and that had a powerful impact on my life. As we develop pipelines for training, there will be faculty and students to share with the future leaders – but it is vital for pastors, deacons, elders, youth leaders and teachers to be watchful for these leaders in their churches. We all need to encourage and help them prepare for leadership in our denomination.
Someone in my life gave a generous gift to help me along the way and God used that to affirm my call to ministry and to help me pay for my education. Let’s each pray that God will give us the opportunities to encourage another generation of leaders by giving a word of encouragement, affirming of their gifts, giving them direction or opportunities for training or helping in practical ways to affirm God’s calling.