by Andy Breckwoldt
One of the things that God has been leading us toward as we’ve been doing leadership ministry here at St. John the Divine over the past few years is working with Houston nonprofits as local community partners. It turns out they have a real appetite for sending their people to the leadership development opportunities that we offer. Many of them are small organizations that don’t have the capability to provide a lot of in-house leadership development opportunities. Our offerings are affordable and high quality, and most of the non-profits appreciate the fact that they’re Christian based.
Over time, more and more of our community partners have come to the Global Leadership Summit. Last year we decided to really lean into working with them. The idea bubbled up among our team to focus on leaders who are impacting the community by inviting some of them to come and be honored as part of the GLS. We invited 20 local non-profits for a lunch dedicated to them on the Friday of GLS. Each group was assigned to a table where they hosted other attendees and shared stories of what they were doing in the community. It was such a big hit with everyone that we are going to do it again this year with around 25 local community partners, giving different organizations this opportunity to connect with other leaders.
Some of our community partners bring whole teams to the Summit and use the experience as a team-building opportunity. For example, Sean Steele from St. Isadore recently told me he’s trying to bring as many as 20 people this year. A big part of what we’re trying to do with the leadership ministry here is to serve not just our own congregation, but to serve Houston by raising up disciples and leaders who will have a big positive impact our community. We’re looking forward to another great year!