It has been well said that “[t]he Church of God must train all kinds of leaders. Not many men and women will lead in the Church, but scores will lead in other spheres. If we do not equip God’s people to lead according to God’s design inside and outside the Church, they will be left to lead according to the world’s design…” This is why the pastors and elders of Bridgeway have built and launched the Men's Leadership Development Cohort. At its most basic, leadership looks like delighting in and modeling Jesus, multiplying disciples, and making others flourish in all of life.
Therefore, the goal of the Leadership Development Cohort will be to equip men to increasingly lead self and others in the home, the workplace, and the world.
Leadership development takes the long view, but consequently does not quickly produce plugs for holes, and thus tends to look unattractive and is therefore often left untried. Development looks more like farming than manufacturing. It is slow and inefficient but ultimately fruitful work and it must not be neglected.
Ministry leaders in the local church are often better at asking the saints to do the work of the ministry than they are at equipping them to do the work of the ministry. As a result, the pastors and elders of Bridgeway are committed to continually strive to bring Bridgeway to a place where the people of God are being strategically equipped more than being merely asked.
Unfortunately, all too often leadership development programs are built around the transfer of information, but the broad testimony of Scripture depicts transformation that, while it always involves the transfer of truth, mainly takes place in the context of intentional relationships (1 Thess 2:8; 2 Tim 3:10-14). In the words of Paul Tripp, change is a community project. As a result, elder coaches will walk alongside the cohort participants through assigned one-on-one coaching relationships, and assess their leadership character, calling, and competency, all in the context of community.
FORMAT AND REQUIREMENTS
- The cohort will run from September of 2017 through May of 2018. Eight men will be accepted. The primary requirement for participants is availability on Thursday mornings and the willingness to do some reading and writing each month. Three Thursday mornings each month, from September through May, will be taken up with cohort activities. Four non-staff elders will serve as coaches for the cohort participants—each coach assigned and meeting once a month with two of the eight participants for personal discipleship and mentoring for the duration of the cohort. (The monthly breakfast gatherings will run from 6:30am to 7:45am, and the monthly one-on-ones will theoretically be scheduled by each participant and their coach within that same time slot on a separate, single Thursday morning each month, but they will be given some flexibility to determine that themselves. In essence, anyone who doesn’t have consistent availability on Thursday mornings from 6:30am to 7:45am will have a difficult time participating meaningfully in the cohort.)
- The third Thursday morning of each month the whole group will gather at Bridgeway from 6:30am–7:45am for breakfast and a time of teaching and discussion. See the schedule for, and content of, those breakfast gatherings here. The first and second Thursday mornings of each month, each coach will meet for a one-on-one with each of the two participants assigned to them for the duration of the cohort. Additionally, one morning each month, each participant will meet with one other participant for a discipleship group, following the normal rhythms of a discipleship group (Scripture, sharing, spread of the gospel, supplication and Spirit).
- Each participant will be required to read approximately 20 to 30 pages a week, as well as complete brief written responses each month (see the cohort syllabus, subject to change, here).
- The cohort will launch in September with a one-night retreat running from Friday evening to Saturday evening, within a two-hour radius of the Oklahoma City metro area (the date will be determined after the cohort roster is finalized). The cohort will conclude in May with a celebration dinner for the cohort graduates and their wives.
PHILOSOPHY OF DEVELOPMENT
- Content will follow the generally accepted philosophy of leadership development—1) establishing competencies, and then 2) providing training tools, and 3) assessment tools for each of those competencies.
- Similarly, leaders tend to develop best when they are provided with: 1) knowledge, 2) experience, and 3) coaching. Hopefully the format of the cohort will take into account the transformative power of each of those components.
HOW TO APPLY
- Only eight men will be accepted for this initial cohort, and the deadline for applications is Sunday, August 20th, by midnight. Apply here today.