I just finished a really significant week in Rome. Twenty emerging leaders from all over Western Europe for Campus Crusade gathered in Rome for the 2nd installment of the Next Generation Leaders initiative. This is a two and half year effort that gathers every 6 months for a week of energetic action learning towards becoming more effective Christ-centered leaders. The first gathering took place this past September in Ethiopia and the focus then was on community. The emphasis for Rome was on movements. Alan Hirsch (pictured front row far right) led four seminars on “The Forgotten Ways.” It was a very stimulating time of considering what true spiritual people movements look like–what is the core of what made the early church tick and how can we recover those essential principles today. We also spent time looking at how to develop learning teams, spiritual disciplines, and the value of feedback in personal development. The schedule was also spiced with daily prayer partners and corporate prayer. And we took advantage of some on site spiritual learning at the Colosseum, the San Calisto catacombs, and the church of Quo Vadis.
Two of our Italian leaders are participating–one of which I am personally coaching. Between the 6 month installments there are a number of reading, writing and reflection assignments that each participant must complete. Each leader must also live out a personal development plan and actively apply their overall learning to their local ministry setting.
My role during this week was primarily to observe and get a better feel for the process. I will take an active role in planning the next wave of training that will begin in the fall of 2010 with a whole new group of European leaders. I did get to serve as a mentor–meeting with two of the emerging leaders each day to discuss personal application of their assignments and current learning from the seminars. It was a rich time for me to get to know these men and women a little better and understand what they are up against in their various nations–Europe is a tough mission field–but being around these leaders gave me great hope that God has not forgotten His church and will always raise up the people necessary to extend the gospel–even here.