This week’s Whiteboard Wednesday is brought to you by Nate Bull and Mark Van Andel, leaders of an urban church plant in Detroit, Michigan, called Hesed.
First of all, Nate and Mark stress the need for indigenous leaders, people from the community in which the ministry is taking place. These leaders will know the challenges of the community and understand the context in which the community lives. Having indigenous leaders helps the ministry become sustainable from the inside and allows for long-term impact on the community.
In order to train these leaders, Nate and Mark developed a language and plan that would fit their context. The ministry of Hesed is centered around a house, a ministry outpost, in which people in the community can come to and spend time there.
There are different stages of people in this plan. The first is the resident, anyone from the neighborhood who lives in the context of the ministry. They are recognized as part of the community.
Next is the neighbor, people who have a personal relationship with the people in the ministry. They may be the people who come to bible studies or who have engaged in conversations about the Lord.
The next stage is friend, when both sides begin to open their hearts and share their dreams with one another. Here, there is a willingness to be taught and a desire to grow.
After friendship, people become part of the family. They now believe and share in the mission and vision the ministry has for the neighborhood or community.
The final stage is discipleship. This is the stage where disciples make disciples as people move others through the stages of leadership development.
In action, this way of leadership development requires heavy investment and can seem like it slows down the process. But it actually has the capability to multiply the process in other neighborhoods, because a deep understanding is developed through the different stages. And since everyone is a leader in their own context, this is a way to develop that leadership more to help in the network of churches.
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