Learning for church leaders – online

Web community to provide collection of resources for Mennonite Brethren pastors and leaders

A new online community website will soon bring an extensive collection of learning resources to pastors and leaders with the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches (CCMBC).

The website, Leaders2Learners, is expected to be launched early 2014. It is being designed by the Resourcing Churches & Developing Leaders service team (formerly Leadership Development).

“Leadership is a lifelong learning experience,” says Daniel Beutler, who was recently appointed to the position of lifelong learning host. “We are on a journey with God – it is a lifelong journey of getting to know God and making him known to others.”

Through a variety of tools, the website will provide online learning opportunities for leaders and ministry teams in the areas of spiritual renewal, theological enrichment, and skill development (life skills and ministry skills).

One of the tools is online learning communities. Beutler describes online communities as “clusters” that will be using new technology to develop, strengthen, and sustain relationships.

“One of the challenges we face is the geographic separation between our churches,” says Beutler. “These online communities will eliminate geographic separation.”

Online learning communities will also enable people who have common learning interests and areas of ministry to share ideas and participate in online meetings and live stream events.

The Leaders2Learners website will have online assessment processes to help leaders and ministry teams identify learning interests and gain clarity on how God is using them and their congregations to invite people into a meaningful relationship with God and to grow in faith.

“First and foremost, it’s about God’s desire for the leaders and for the congregations,” says Beutler. “It is about God’s plan. We want to discern together what God wants to do in and through us.”

The assessment processes are designed to help leaders set new goals, direction, and action plans. They can also be used to request leadership coaching, consulting, and training.

The online community will help meet ministry needs through creating greater awareness of existing resources. To increase the availability of resources for leaders and ministry teams from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds, users will be encouraged to post new resources in a variety of languages.

The Leaders2Learners online community website is just one of CCMBC’s Resourcing Churches & Developing Leaders department’s many services to develop, coach, and mentor leaders.

Beutler says it is important to develop and equip church leadership because the church is an essential part of God’s plan to accomplish God’s purpose for this world.

“God wants to see people restored and in relationship with God,” he explains. “God has given us gifts and skills, and as followers of Christ, we want to use these gifts to serve others. We are responding to God’s love and grace that we have received and experienced. That is our motivation.”

—Gladys Terichow is staff writer for the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches.

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