Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Coaching Church Leaders During a Time of Change: Part Two

This is the second part of my interview with Charity Roberson, Leadership Communities Coach on the Emerging Leaders team at the Virginia Baptist Mission Board.  In this blog, Charity responds to questions about developing intentional communities of ministers.

We hear a lot today about “leadership communities” or “learning communities.”  As a coach, how would you define a "learning community”?

“I know it sounds trite, but I define a learning community as any group of people that is committed to learning and growing together.  Again, these communities may be a short one hour online conversation, they may be a group that studies together for a set length of time, or they may be groups that journey through a longer learning process.  The goal is also to create a large learning community of all of us in ministry, tapping into resources that already exist and learning how to better communicate and share them.”

What are the key ingredients to making a community a "learning community"?

“I think the key ingredients to making a community a ‘learning community’ is that each participant is willing to learn, they are committed to being open to new possibilities. A learning community is one in which each participant is not only teachable but also willing to teach others.” 

Why does the church need this?

“The church needs this because I really believe this is how our churches need to be functioning in the future.  All of us are aware that the church needs to make some big changes in the ways we do ministry.  Churches need leaders who can assess the strengths of the church and community, assess the areas that are the weakest, and find a way for each church to intentionally be faithful in their own unique and individual ways. That's exciting and overwhelming all at the same time.” 
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