Director’s Desk – April 2016

Joanne HolzPersonal Growth

My mother was an avid gardener.  She possessed the green thumb.  I used to watch her take what looked like a dead stick and nurture it back to life.  Some of the most beautiful blossoms came from what looked like a lifeless branch.

She would read about gardening.  Most of what she learned was from experience—trial and error.  Further, she was tenacious.  I would have long ago given up on some of those “dead branches” allowing them to become kindle wood.  Not my mother.  She would try different approaches to bringing the life out of what I perceived was lifeless.

Life and ministry can, at times, feel like a dead branch.  What am I producing that makes a difference?  Are there dead parts of me that need to be nurtured and resuscitated?  Are there people speaking into my life—people unwilling to give up and open to trying new approaches to bring to life and health what is dormant or nearly dead?

You can read about ways to nurture inner growth.  That is an important beginning.  However, not until you are willing to exercise the concepts will growth have an opportunity.

This month, The School for Leadership Development will be hosting its sixth annual Ministry Connextions—an experiential, retreat based leader development opportunity based on proven research designed to foster growth in individual leaders.  It often takes stepping back before we can step forward.

This may seem like a daunting and somewhat scary endeavor.  It means subjecting ourselves to scrutiny, exposure, and vulnerability.  It means changing behaviors, perspectives, and attitudes so that health and growth continue to flourish.  Sometimes, it is easier to “throw the sticks” of our dormant areas away.  Easier, yes!  However, we miss the opportunity to develop into the full God-given potential granted us.  In keeping with the metaphor, our blooms are truncated or thwarted.

Every year my mother’s garden was enhanced.  It meant pruning, shaping, and adding variety.  The result, however, caused even the young children who walked by my mother’s house on the way to school every day, to stop and tell my mother how much they loved the beauty they saw in her yard.

SLD is offering five modules, led by trained ‘soul-gardeners’ for the purpose of developing Kingdom leaders.  Check out all that we offer by perusing our website.  We would love to hear from you and to partner with you in creating leaders displaying the beauty of our Creator God.

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