Stepping into the Gap

June 4, 2015

by Sally O. Langford I easily picture vital local churches. I visualize healthy congregations, whose leaders and members are eager to grow in their love for God and others, to be witnesses to their faith, and to use their gifts and resources to serve the global community. At the same time, I see that many local churches are struggling to be vital in the midst of changing demographics, declining finances, shrinking resources, and unengaged members. How can clergy leaders faithfully and effectively lead local churches from where they are now to where God is calling them to be? Susan-Beaumont200Susan Beaumont can show us a way to bridge that gap. It is tempting to feel discouraged, even powerless, when confronted by the gap between current reality and God’s desired vitality. And yet, the gap represents a leadership opportunity from God. God is calling us to step into the gap to help local churches move from where they are to where God wants them to be. Susan will give us the skills to mobilize our people to tackle the tough challenges.  She will teach us how to lead in the midst of conflict and influence others appropriately. The Reverend Susan Beaumont, an experienced consultant and coach, will lead a leadership development conference for WNCC clergy on October 6-7, 2015 at St. Luke’s UMC in Hickory. For interested clergywomen, Susan will lead a morning session on the particular leadership challenges of clergywomen on October 8. Two years ago, I participated in Susan’s leadership development conference, “Leading Adaptive Change.” The experience was for me mind altering and life changing! I learned that leadership is an activity of choice. Susan reminded me that the old ways of doing things aren’t working. She taught me how to identify underlying challenges in my own ministry setting and then showed me how to enlist people to address those challenges. Thanks to Susan, I made an action plan for continued growth as a leader. I’m not yet the perfect leader, but thanks to Susan Beaumont, I am leading. You too can learn from Susan Beaumont. I invite you to put on your calendar Susan Beaumont’s leadership training in October. In October, you can step aside from the busyness of your normal ministry routine and gain rich, practical insights into your own leadership challenges and opportunities. Registration will open at www.wnccumc.org on July 15. The two day event is $50 and includes registration, snacks, and lunch both days. Hotel rooms are being held in the Hickory area, and information will be available in July. For no extra charge, clergywomen are invited to attend a morning session with Susan on Thursday, October 8. Susan Beaumont can inspire us to step boldly into the gap, where we will exercise leadership for the sake of God’s work in the WNCC. EVENT DETAILS

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