The need for training is essential and the time to develop leadership in congregations is now. Over the course of four evenings, presenters provided training sessions lasting 30-45 minutes. Participants were divided up into discussion groups. Each session closed with a short Q&A session.
The first presenter, Gary Petty, began with his presentation: “To the Measure of the Stature of the Fullness of Christ.” We are all given the commission to help prepare God’s people for works of service so the Body of Christ may be built up, and we can grow in unity and maturity. Everybody can contribute in the Church.
Steve Myers discussed fellowship. The Greek word for fellowship is koinonia, which involves actively doing God’s will and accomplishing the God-given purpose of the Church individually and collectively. We are called to an all-in, united mission in the fellowship of the King Jesus Christ. As Dutch member Ronald Djikman put it, “You can’t eat soup with one finger. But five fingers can form a bowl” (Suriname proverb).
Peter Eddington provided insight into the challenges of preaching the gospel in today’s media landscape. Christianity is facing an uphill battle against secularism, atheism and other negative “isms.” In the Church of God, the battle is even more pronounced because the message we bring is at times unpopular. We have a divine, scriptural commission to preach the good news of God’s Kingdom to as many people as we are able. The last evening concluded with Gary Antion’s presentation, titled “Leaders Are Needed.”
Leaders lead with love, enthusiasm and alertness. They delegate, evaluate and respect. A leader must lead and cannot stand behind. It is important to be alert to the needs of others. A leader is willing to enlist others to help. Leaders must respect those they serve and whom they are responsible for.
Participants described the leadership training as a great success, providing encouragement and food for thought. Dutch elder and UCG-Netherlands National Council Chairman Wim Dekker concluded: “Seminars contributed to unity and a sense of belonging for all participants. The attention and involvement of the home office is encouraging for us in Europe.” With the positive response to the presenters’ encouraging messages, God’s blessing was evident.