I had the opportunity to attend, and present a workshop on Leadership Roundtable / Servant Leadership at a Best Practices for Ministry Conference in Phoenix last week. This conference was a phenomenal example of servant leadership at it’s finest.
Over 500 people attended this Conference. It consisted of daily keynote speeches as well as 110 different workshop presentations over the course of 3 days. The purpose of the conference was to equip leaders within the church to advance Bible-based, Gospel-centered, Mission-driven, Future-oriented ministry.
In other words, it was an outstanding experience for leaders to learn from others on ways that they are advancing the mission of the church, and gain ideas and skills to apply back in their home congregations. This is the second year that this conference has been provided for leaders from all over the country.
The quality of the keynote speeches and workshop presentations were top-notch. The hardest part was deciding what to attend. However, the point of this blog is not so much the quality of the content and how much there was to learn at this conference. Instead I want to focus on the aspects of servant leadership that I witnessed as a participant and presenter at the conference.
This conference originated from a vision of the head pastor of the church in Phoenix who hosted this conference for the second year in a row. He wanted to provide an avenue for leaders within the church to learn from the great work of others. After all, all of us are always smarter than any one of us!
Having this vision, principle focus areas of the conference that I noticed were:
- Engaging leaders by encouraging them in the importance of their work
- Providing development opportunities for leaders to get new ideas and enhance their personal skills
- Challenging leaders that status quo is not OK, and that the future requires new creativity and actions
- Providing an environment to build relationships with fellow leaders which would build mutual support for their work
- Providing a setting for leaders to share best practices and model the way for developmental purposes
His vision was not about himself, but clearly about the greater good of others. His church organizes, funds, and delivers this conference for over 500 leaders – 100% free of charge. That includes admittance to all sessions of the conference as well as three meals a day, and snacks between sessions. I can’t even begin to imagine the number of volunteer man-hours that it takes for members of their church to pull this off.
Additionally, each of the speakers, and presenters provide their time free of charge to give of their knowledge for the greater good and development of the attendees.
What a shining example of servant leadership in action. Throughout the conference it was never about the host church, or the speakers / presenters. Instead it was always about providing development opportunity to help leaders in their quest to advance the Kingdom of God.
No one will ever know the multiplication impact that this conference and effort will have over time. However it provided a superb example to me on what can be accomplished when an individual and a group of people with servant hearts get together with a vision of a better future for our world! Mountains can be moved!!
“Press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 3:14