Looking at Leadership with New Eyes


By Jane Horstman, Regional Director and Database Manager

The office of faith community formation is helping to reframe the way in which leadership is viewed and taught within the Mississippi Conference.
In an effort to help equip both clergy and laity to do whatever God is calling them to do, faith community formation has brought together new programs, trainings and opportunities for the people in The United Methodist Church in Mississippi.
The definition of a leader as used by Lead Like Jesus is “Anytime you try to influence the thinking, behavior or actions of another, then you are a leader.” We all engage in leadership within ourselves, our homes, our churches and our communities. Learning to lead is the beginning of revitalization — providing the solid foundation for church revitalization, forming new faith communities and making disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world!
First, there is the Lead Like Jesus Encounter. Because skills and knowledge can’t replace character and integrity, the Lead like Jesus Encounter involves the alignment of our heart, head, hands and habits. Choosing to allow Jesus to transform you from the inside out will have an effect on everyone and everything you encounter. You will be challenged and motivated to follow the leadership example of Jesus. This multi-hour encounter (10 hours in person or 12 hours online) introduces Jesus as the greatest leadership role model and provides a unique formula for leadership development experience that focuses on developing character of a leader - not just leadership tactics. The training facilitates a powerful peer-to-peer learning experience instead of lecture.
Second is coaching. Under the office of faith community formation, a new position of coaching coordinator has been created. This position has been created for the specific purpose of recruiting and training coaches, making coaching services available and bring coaching to the forefront of leadership training for both clergy and laity. Pastors and other leaders who find themselves in need of coaching for skill building, leadership training or simply getting unstuck, can contact faith community formation for referral to coaches and other resources. 
Third is the Adaptive Leadership Cohort. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the challenges before you and want to learn to lead real adaptive change, the Adaptive Church Leadership Cohort offers a team approach with resourcing, a community of fellow travelers and the coaching that can help you take the important steps towards more impactful ministry in a radically changed and changing world. This is an 18-month process that churches go through to help them strengthen their ability to not only survive change, but to thrive and grow in the midst of change.
It is our sincere desire that through these and other tools and resources that we offer, every person in the Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church, will not only work to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, but will discover the gifts and leader inside themselves so that they can become all that God has called them to be.
If you would like additional information about any of these topics or to see additional resources from faith community formation, please visit our webpage or contact Jane Horstman at jhorstman@mississippi-umc.org or Jason Zebert at jzebert@mississippi-umc.org.

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Jackson, MS 39206
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The Mississippi Annual Conference—empowered by love, generosity, justice and apprenticeship—forms spiritual leaders, faith communities and connections so more disciples of Jesus Christ transform the world.