Elderlink 2010

March 28, 2010

This past Friday evening and Saturday, the Atlanta Elderlink program was held at the North Atlanta Church of Christ.

Elderlink is a program from Abilene Christian University providing support to elders in churches of Christ.  I’ve attended in four previous years, with this year being the fifth.

Today I want to talk about the overall structure of the event.  I’ll try to post more on the content of the sessions in future posts.

This year’s program took an interesting approach.  First, Randy Harris set the stage talking about the great challenges facing churches of Christ. Then John York conducted an audience survey (using those cool remote clickers to collect input from everyone in the audience) in which we evaluated the “competencies” we considered most important to a church leader, to address those challenges. For each competency, he also had each attendee evaluate his or her own level of proficiency.  Randy Lowrey then led a panel discussion about the challenges Randy Harris had described.  Then we broke out into smaller groups for three sessions where the audience discussed what we had heard so far.  Following those discussions we came back together and heard representatives from each group share what they had heard in the group discussions.  John York then presented the findings of the earlier “clicker” surveys, highlighting the competencies rated as most important, and showing the self-evaluated shortfall in desirable competency. Finally, Randy Harris wrapped up with a discussion of some keys to developing leadership (“come follow with me”) equipped to meet the challenges for the next generation.

What a great idea for a leadership program!  The audience decided what they consider important, and determined where they need the most help.  That’s all the more relevant since there are so few opportunities for elders to get the kind of “continuing education” that many other disciplines receive.  Surely shepherding the people of God is at least as important as many professional fields where continuing education is mandatory.  We really need to find a way to help our leaders to grow.

Among churches of Christ, Elderlink is a lone voice in a wilderness of unmet eldership development needs.  Why any elder within a few hours of Atlanta would choose not to attend, is beyond my comprehension.  We need a lot more opportunities like this.  Thanks to ACU for all their hard work to support elders in the churches of Christ.

One comment

  1. […] John 17: 21a May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. (HCSB) « Elderlink 2010 Safe? or Out? » Elderlink 2010: Five Challenges April 2, 2010 Randy Harris […]

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