by Leticia Saunders, Captain –
Is traditional church leadership based on a Biblical understanding of the Scriptures? Most officers and lay leaders would probably say “Yes,” but the Builders of the Kingdom, who were commissioned on June 14, 1998, met together at Crestmont College for their T.O.I. (Territorial Officers Institute) and had that idea challenged.
T.O.I. is scheduled every spring for those recently commissioned officers who have completed their continuing education requirements and are about to complete their fifth year of active officership; it is one of those annual events that mark the beginning of “Commissioning season.”
During this year’s T.O.I., which was an intense week of study under the tutelage of Dr. Pat Lattore from Fuller Theological Seminary, the officers focused their minds and hearts on developing an effective Biblically-based understanding of leadership, with new light being shed on the subject of character development. Using many parables and passages that record the words of Jesus and the actions of the disciples, Dr. Lattore turned many preconceived ideas regarding leadership upside-down, leaving the officers with a refreshingly new outlook on what it means to be led by God’s Spirit.
As Builders of the Kingdom, they considered how carefully they were building up the skills necessary for a lifetime of ministry, and even though they dedicated their lives just five short years ago, to “build on no other foundation than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:10-11), one “Builder” officer commented that some officers felt as though they were “running out of gas and needed a program that would refresh and confirm their calling.” Some thought that stress management would also have been a good topic for an officers’ conference.
Clearly, the week-long seminar was a refreshing, life-changing opportunity for the participating officers, but the opportunity for this thought challenging conference is not limited to officers and T.O.I. delegates: Dr. Lattore is scheduled to lead other seminars on similar topics as part of the “Leadership Studies Seminar Series” at Crestmont College. For further information, check out the Crestmont College website www.crestmontcollege.edu