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A sampling of 7 servants: young leaders in conversation

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Nominated by a local church or mission leader for their ministry involvement, 19 post-college twentysomethings gathered in Fresno, Cal., from Mar.11–13, for a consultation on MB identity. MB Biblical Seminary, the U.S. MB Conference, and the Canadian conference partnered to bring together young people and conference leaders to “create conversation about things that really matter,” alongside representatives of the national boards of faith and life, and MB Mission and Service International (MBMSI).

For every hour of teaching by professors, pastors, and missionaries, participants spent two hours discussing and listening to the presenters and each other. “We hope it’s not just an event, but feels more like a conversation,” says Cam Priebe, who oversees the Canadian conference’s leadership development department. “The next step is [these young people] continuing the conversation.” To that end, podcasts of the four presentations are available at www.ylc.com, where readers can leave comments.

To profile a small cross section of young leaders today, the MB Herald asked Canadian participants three key questions:

1) Who is your greatest leadership influence?
2) What kind of leadership do you think the church needs for the future?
3) What kind of tools and opportunities do you covet for your continued development as a leader?

YLC-Lisa Francis
Name: Lisa Francis
Gateway Community Church, Halifax
Ministry focus: youth and worship

1) My parents, Paul and Kathy Francis. They demonstrate servant leadership and invest their lives in seeing the church unified, partnering with Jesus in his work to love and restore all people to himself.

2) Leaders who live out their faith in humility and integrity; who count the cost and give their whole hearts and lives to love; who value community and create a safe place for people to find forgiveness and freedom.

3) People who pray and speak life over me. Being a part of team is key, so that there is support and a sense of partnership in ministry. Spending time with like-minded leaders who have new experiences and insights to share is inspiring and refreshing.

Name: Joelle BasqueYLC-Joelle Basque
Église chrétienne de St-Laurent, Montreal
Ministry focus: young adults, writer for Le Lien

1) My father and pastor, Gerard Basque; Eric Wingender (theologian); Glenn Smith (theologian, director of Christian Direction in Montreal).

2) Leadership that is not afraid to discuss and act upon the challenges of the church in a secularized society.

3) Leaders and theologians in the MB family who are people of prayer, intellectual integrity, and listening. More opportunities like the 2010 Young Leaders consultation.

Name: Janelle Hume
Westwood Community Church, WinnipegYLC-Janelle Hume
Ministry focus: music & cross-cultural mission

1) Carol Letkeman (MBMSI regional mobilizer). By intentionally investing in my life and speaking into it, she has demonstrated what it means to lead in love.

2) Servant leaders who can understand and serve in the upside-down kingdom, just as Christ did.

3) My prayer is that, surrounded by community, I would grow in humility, act in a just and respectable way, and never cease to love mercy (Micah 6:8).

YLC-Stephen Siemens

Name: Stephen Siemens
Hepburn (Sask.) MB Church
Ministry focus: restorative justice

1) The people of Bethany College and Mennonite Central Committee Sask., Colin Enns (Bridge on 20th), and my wife Alli.

2) Relational, flexible, and adaptive – able to embrace the contributions of church and transform aspects of church that hinder the upside-down kingdom; leadership that wrestles with the marriage of social justice and traditional evangelism, asking how these partners work together, not if.

3) Conversation, partnerships, fellowship, prayer, ministry, mentorship, learning tours, mission trips. We need to be on the cutting edge of cultural exegesis alongside the more familiar training ground of biblical exegesis. Classroom learning and hands-on experience is key.

Name: Matt DyckYLC-Matt Dyck
SunWest Christian Fellowship, Calgary
Ministry focus: senior high youth and young adults

1) This could be a very long list! One mentor, former pastor Trent Berstad, has been a huge influence, encouragement, and inspiration through his intentional discipling of the guys on his construction work crews.

2) Leaders who walk in the gentleness and the power of the Spirit, who think outside the box – ready to move away from a focus on the weekend gathering to a focus on being incarnational and missional during the week. Maybe we need church leaders who aren’t “paid professionals,” but carpenters, plumbers, doctors, teachers, etc.

3) Mentors. I desire to walk hand-in-hand with other generations, and to share resources and perspectives with other churches and denominations. Unity and interdependence are powerful evidence of God’s love (John 17).

Name: Joel MartinYLC-JoelMartin
The Life Centre, Abbotsford, B.C.
Ministry focus: seeking and saving that which is lost

1) David Hogan, missionary in Mexico.

2) Apostolic – Spirit-led people leading the way and enabling others to follow into unmarked missional living.

3) Life-on-life mentorship in a church planting environment, and encouragement to embrace a lifestyle of listening to God.

Name: Jared CrossleyYLC-Jared Crossley
Jericho Ridge Community Church, Langley, B.C.
Ministry focus: music ministry

1) Tim McCarthy (director of chapel ministries, Trinity Western University). Humble and persistent, a true friend and advocate to those he shepherds, he exemplifies relationship-based leadership.

2) People whose lives point to God: worshippers, lovers of all that is beautiful, encouragers, willing and humble servants. I’m hesitant to assume there are “kinds” of leadership – Jesus Christ is our model of spurring people on toward love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24) to the glory of God the Father.

3) Spoken encouragement; camaraderie with other leaders; open dialogue about ministry, discipleship, and worship; prayer; sharing resources. Being reminded of why I do what I do keeps me on track and reminds me of areas in which I need to repent or seek advice.

For more information, see “Listening to the voices of young leaders,” a joint Centre for MB Studies and Canadian conference release on the News section of the CCMBC homepage.

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