Applications are now open for Moravian Leadership Network Class of 2015-2016. The deadline for application is August 2, 2015. Read the program overview, which includes a detailed schedule as well as a link to the online application. Read a recent article about MLN in the Moravian Magazine.
As I was pursuing my Doctor of Ministry Degree from McCormick Theological Seminary (Chicago, Illinois) one of the most valuable books I read during this time was entitled, Leadership On The Line by Ronald A. Heifetz and Marty Linsky. In their book they use a balcony as a metaphor for leadership. One of the most practical ideas of leadership is the ability to get perspective in the midst of action. The balcony metaphor captures this idea very well. In their book they use the example of a dance floor filled with many dancers and a band. If one were a dancer on the dance floor, chances are they would be caught up in the music, the dance itself and their dancing partner. When asked how things were at the dance they might reply, “The band played great and the place was filled with dancers!” From this viewpoint one might not notice things that someone in the balcony would see. Looking down from the balcony one might observe that only some people danced when certain music was played. Perhaps they noticed that all the dancers clustered to one side of the floor further away from the band because they were playing too loud. As this illustration proves, achieving a balcony perspective means one must be removed from the dance floor and be a keen observer of all things.
As Pastor of Christ Moravian Church, I have “sat in the balcony” and observed four of our members participate in the Moravian Leadership Network’s first two classes. During this time from my view in the balcony, I am filled with hope and excitement for the future of our Moravian Church. I have seen individuals who were already good leaders within our church mature and become even better leaders through the benefits of their participation in the Moravian Leadership Network. In addition I have seen other members who have participated in the Moravian Leadership Network recognize their gifts and talents more clearly and in turn they have gained more confidence in their leadership skills. I look forward to trying to “recruit” more members in the coming years to participate in the Moravian Leadership Network. The benefits are not only discovered within the local congregation but provincial service as well.
I have seen members . . . recognize their gifts and talents more clearly and gain more confidence in their leadership skills.
Opportunities for leadership are available to us every day. I believe that leadership is a way of giving meaning to our lives by contributing to the lives of others. Leadership is at its best, a labor of love. We have several dedicated clergy and laypeople who are now graduates of the Moravian Leadership Network. I have been witness first hand of the benefits of their instruction. They have been blessed through the instruction of laypeople and clergy who dedicate their time and talents in providing instruction and insights to those who participate in the Moravian Leadership Network. They give of themselves because of their love for God and love for the Moravian Church.
In a recent sermon preached on the subject of discipleship I offered these words worth repeating:
At the close of life, the question will not be how much have we earned but how much have we given. We will not be asked how much we have won but rather how much have we done. We will not be asked how much we have saved but rather how much we have sacrificed. Finally we will not be asked how much we were honored but rather how much have we loved and served others.
The Moravian Leadership Network has proven that mentoring and instruction are bridges to a brighter future. I hope you will consider crossing over and participating in the Moravian Leadership Network’s next class opportunity!