Who are learning communities for?
Church leadership teams who want to:
- see transformation and growth in their local church
- learn how to lead more fruitfully and work together more effectively
- develop and implement vision
- grow in faithfulness to God’s call to leadership
What is a Learning Community?
A group of up to 10 Scottish Baptist church leadership teams, who commit to a two year journey of discovery and development together. Every six months we meet together for two days. At these gatherings there is a mixture of input from experienced practitioners and time to process and apply the input with your own church team, as well as opportunity to interact with other churches on a similar journey. The key themes covered over the two years are:
- The purpose and vision of your church
- Developing leaders and the right leadership structures
- Mission – reaching out and inviting in
- Disciple-making and whole-life transformation
At the end of each two-day session you will develop a clear action plan for the next 6 months and share this with the other teams in your learning community. At the next learning community in six months, the first activity will be to report back on how effectively you have fulfilled your action plan.
Between each of the four two-day sessions, there will be the opportunity to meet with an identified coach who will offer support to you as the transforming journey develops.
Some benefits of learning communities
- Most volunteer church leaders get little or no training for the task. This directly meets that need.
- You get extended time to work together as a leadership team on key questions that often get overlooked in your routine agendas. Questions like: What is God’s purpose for our church? What is our culture and how does it affect us? Where are our next leaders coming from?
- It is much better than sending your minister away to a conference where they get enthused by some great questions or ideas but find it hard to communicate and apply these to the whole team with the same impact. Here the whole team get the questions and ideas and immediately start to apply them to your unique context.
Why two years?
It might sound like a long time but this is probably the minimum length of time to create any lasting change in a local church.
Who leads this?
LEAD Academy learning communities for Scottish Baptist Churches are led by Andrew Clarke with other experienced church leaders in our Union, who have been trained to use the LEAD Academy programme which has enriched hundreds of UK churches since 2010.
How can people with jobs take part?
Many people on learning communities have chosen to take annual leave, recognising this is a good investment of time. Some have found their employers have been willing to support them because this is both leadership training and charitable support. People who work part time have been able to swap their hours to accommodate the two-day learning communities. For some people it is impossible to take part, but as long as a majority of the leadership team can participate it has proven to be effective.
The next course
Dates: The next learning community will begin in spring 2021.
Location: to be confirmed
Team: Ideally a team of 4-6 including the minister/team leader
Cost: £690 per year for up to four people. Additional participants £72 per person per year. This is subsidised by the Baptist Union of Scotland and includes venue, materials, teas/coffees and lunch. It does not include overnight accommodation.