Sunday, February 23, 2014

The real story behind the Pittsburgh Leadership Summit by Jim Ludwig

Testimony from a host family member:

When I volunteered a long time ago to host some Latino’s, I did so because we are empty nesters now and I thought it would be an easy and good thing to do.  Now I need to thank you (Lisa) for doing your very best to make sure that it would be a much deeper experience.  I must admit when you sent the bio’s of these “special” people who were coming I didn’t feel like taking the time to read about them. I have been sending a small amount of money each year for a lot of years to support Lisa, why would I want to learn about these other people?  Then they came and I met them and I went to some events at other churches with them and they became “real.” 
The Professors are the real story about this whole trip.  Lisa and Bob and Robert are great people, doing a great job, but they are paid missionaries (who deserve our continued support.)  As Lisa kept saying she wanted to display God’s fruit.  People like Analu and Gloria that stayed with us, are making great sacrifices of time and money not so that they can advance themselves and have a better career.  They are sacrificing so that they can serve God as a volunteer and train other Latino’s who also serve God as a volunteer so that God’s Kingdom can grow.  Jim Welsh’s “Summers Bet Two Weeks” always gives an award to the male and female camper that best demonstrated “I’m Third.”  Christ is first, others are second and I’m third.  I think all the professors deserve that award.  Lisa, thank you for tricking me into getting to know some of these servants for God.  I’m sure God will reward them in heaven.

Jim Ludwig

Member of North Park Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Panel on Succession leadership

Pastors Jay Passavant and Scott Stevens shared their thoughts and lessons from having experienced a transition in leadership, from Jay as the founding pastor of 30-years to Scott, the new lead pastor of North Way Christian Community.
 Although I am not transitioning out of my position in CCI/LA as director of leadership development, Bob Sabean and I are releasing the responsibility to teach one specific training event into the hands of this multicultural team of professors. This annual event is the Institute for Forming Instructors (IFI) and it is held in the country that solicits it. If our National CCI Association in Peru requests it, a sub-team will be formed of those professors who have the time, funds, and availability and they will be in charge of the entire 17-day IFI.
  Our team is ad hoc (Wikipedia: Ad hoc is a Latin phrase meaning "for this". It generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and not intended to be able to be adapted to other purposes). They have no elite status, they are professors when teaching an IFI, but when they are back in their respective countries, they are active participants on their CCI national team of volunteers, teaching training courses and promoting Christian camping. Several of them serve as board members at the national and international level.

Team’s impressions of the panel with Pastors Jay and Scott:
·      Jay trusted Scott to be the next lead pastor
·      Scott respected Jay and his legacy and didn’t do anything to stain or undermine it in an effort to build up respect for himself.
·      They put into place a transition team who held everyone accountable to the timeline and mediate any differences. They trusted God’s hand to move the process along.
·      What surprised me was the sense of joy of passing the baton from one generation to the other.
·      This organized, well-thought manner of leadership succession is practically unheard of in our countries. A senior pastor leaves when he dies, not before. There is usually no plan in place. Usually his son takes charge or another close family member. During his tenure, other strong leaders that rise up in church may likely be considered a threat to his leadership so he may send them off to plant daughter churches since it would be dangerous to keep them too close. 
Pastor Jay has been my pastor since I was a 12-year old at Memorial Park Pres. Church and when he left there and founded North Way Christian Community, I continued to attend both churches. After 30 years, Pastor Jay has given his role as lead pastor to Scott Stevens.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Living your strengths Workshop with Baha Habashy

Baha Habashy gifts us with a 4-hour workshop on "Living your strengths" based on CliftonGallup strengths-based research. Prior to his workshop we all had to take their online survey to discover what our top 5 strengths are. (Strengths Finder)

It was a highlight of the Pittsburgh Leadership Summit and many of the team members are hoping to invite him to come and teach in their respective countries. Baha Habashy's website as an executive consultant

Within the first five minutes of the workshop, Baha’s anointing was felt and he had us crying. One of his fortes is his sincerity and vulnerability. His willingness to share personal stories to illustrate his teaching points was particularly endearing and brought immediate clarity to his teaching.

As we closed our workshop something amazing happened: Baha fell to his knees as we laid our hands on him and lifted him up in prayer. Several team members affirmed his God-given wisdom and he was moved as the love of God poured out over him; we prayed for God to use him in Africa and Latin America and it was like seeing rain fall on parched ground. As he stood with tears in his eyes, he said: “I can’t remember ever being prayed for like this.”. Amazing is his ability to speak pearls of wisdom, to prompt deep thought, to take sound theory like Strengths finder ® and interweave it with his own theory of roles, callings, avoidance of draining people, and scheduling according to priorities. I would add that our team is extraordinarily teachable and very responsive to the move of the Holy Spirit.