An important part of the Church Alive! is having skilled leaders who are enthusiastic for the mission of the Church. Take a look at this article by Holly Joy McIlwain on leadership development. How can you be a leader in your parish community?
Investing in emerging and potential leaders is a work that I love. It’s more than my job, it’s my ministry. In my 20 years of studying leadership development, as a growing practitioner, I’ve discovered the truth about this work and ministry—it is a mixture of my personal identity, God’s calling, the Spirit’s gifting, and community discernment. Yep. It’s all that, and more.
Over the years, I’ve come to learn that we only really know ourselves and our ministry impact in relation to others. So, I believe that the best way to know your ministry is to somehow assess its impact on people around about you. Look around. Who is impacted by the way you do what you do? Now let’s rephrase that. Who is impacted by the way that you do what you were created to do?
My work and ministry has evolved over the years. Recently I had the opportunity to work with a group of nearly 70 leaders, helping them to develop an awareness of their leadership strengths in a church context. At the end of the day, several participants came up to me and reflected that what they had learned about their own leadership capacity was so useful, they were able to take that to work with them on Monday. Wow! Imagine the impact of these leaders in their places of work and in their places of worship, now armed with more self-knowledge and leadership capacity.
For me, pouring into these leaders really matters. It’s worth the time, energy, and investment. Together, we are building a stronger community—integrating faith, leadership, talent, and practice.
What practices in developing leaders are you seeing in your community?
McIlwain serves the Diocese of Pittsburgh in the Secretariat for Leadership Development, has just completed an advanced degree in Organizational Leadership from Robert Morris University, and has spoken nationally to groups of all ages.