loren Eric Swanson: Atlanta Externally Focused Church Leadership Community

Monday, June 25, 2007

Atlanta Externally Focused Church Leadership Community

Last week I was in Atlanta for a couple of days working with Chip Sweney of Perimeter Church on the Atlanta Externally Focused Leadership Community (LC). This was actually a one day make-up session for four churches that were unable to attend the first meeting in Atlanta last month. This LC is comprised of 14 key churches in the Atlanta area representative of the racial make-up of Atlanta. The idea behind the LC design is to live and work from three realities--what is, what could be, and what will be. For "What is" we usually have leaders come to the first gathering with a drawn "model" of their externally focused ministry. Presenting the ministry in this way engages a different side of the brain and forces one to see the relationships between the entities of ministry and community. We often use short articles from other fields to stretch leaders to think about "what could be." So for this group we used a shareholders report from Coca-Cola and an article on the Jesuits. Then participants are asked to recrecreate thier externally focused ministry based on the principles they have learned. This make-up group did as well with this exercise as anyone. The leaders end by creating a two year strategic plan followed by a 6 month Action Learning Plan--who will do what, by when, that they intend to do before the group convenes again.


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