“Leadership is not some mystical quality that some possess, and others do not. As humans, we all have what it takes, and we all need to use our leadership.” —David Marquette in Turn the Ship Around
If there’s one thing GNJ churches have learned in the past several months, it is how to be more resilient and innovative in their worship experiences. The Laity Board has prepared to help our clergy and laity with the all new Leadership Academy so that laity and clergy can be prepared as ministry continues to evolve.
Kicking off the all-new virtual program this month is a three-part learning series “Navigating Worship in the New Day” with GNJ Director of Worship Lan Wilson.
“Before we were looking at survival. Now we’re looking at sustainability,” said Wilson who plans to emphasize the importance of offering a hybrid worship service now that churches are facing reopening challenges and technology can connect with people that seemed unreachable before. This first round of the new Leadership Academy will set the stage for three more programs, each designed to resource leaders with new skills to strengthen their congregations.
“It’s time to raise the ceiling of excellence, and it’s time to make people feel welcome,” said Wilson.
As part of the program, he said he will be exploring hospitality and how it looks in this new environment as well as looking at hybrid worship resources involving the Breakthrough Worship Series. The curriculum will also cover copyright licensing, worship presentation software and Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) Studio for high-performing live streaming and recording.
When asked what part of himself he hopes to bring to the program, Wilson said, “There’s a lot I’ve experienced, and I’ve had to stay two steps ahead in order to help our churches.”
Wilson has experienced many different church settings from his early days in a small rural church, to his upbringing at a dynamic urban church, to one of the fastest growing churches in Kentucky, to new church plants, and finally to GNJ. He enjoys connecting with churches and leaders everywhere.
“As a 30-something, I think I’m exactly the kind of person the church is losing. If we’re awake to it, this is an opportunity to grow the church again,” said Wilson, who has been leading worship and sharing his love of music since he was 10 growing up in Kentucky amid a family of four generations of pastors.
Future programs in the Leadership Academy will include “Making Worship Work Behind the Scenes” in November with Chuck DelCamp, of Haddonfield UMC and chair of GNJ’s Commission on Communications, followed by “These Small Groups Make a Difference” in January with Rev. Gina Yeske, Director of Small Groups, Daniel Jimenez and Vivian Naa-Awa Nelson-Appiah and then finally “Missional Engagement that Opens Hearts, Minds and Doors” in February with Ashley Wilson, Director of Mission, Rev. Luana Cook Scott of Morristown UMC and Andrea Wren-Hardin, Hope Center Developer.
For more details and to register (deadline is one week prior to the start of each session), visit www.gnjumc.org/ 2020-leadership-academy