Lessons From A Board Retreat

I spent Friday night and Saturday morning at Bethelwoods Retreat Center near Rock Hill, SC, learning about leadership with the Board of Good Shepherd.

Eight men and five women gathered together to sit under the tutelage of Good Shepherd member Brent Burdick, who after serving as a missionary in the Philippines for 20 years, recently relocated to southwest Charlotte and connected with Good Shepherd.

Ironically, Brent and I had been in the same graduating class at Asbury Seminary 23 years ago, though we did not know each other at the time.  I regard it as yet another example of prevenient grace that he moved into a home literally down the street from our church and that he has been so willing to invest of himself in our congregation.

One of the things I appreciated about the weekend was that I did not lead it; instead, I sat as co-learner with the the volunteer servants who give direction to this church.

Here are some of the gems that came from our time together, some of which emerged out of Brent’s teaching and others were interesting insights from Board members:

  • As weather shapes mountains, so problems shape leaders.
  • Good leaders take the heat but not the glory.
  • There’s nothing like a near death experience to make you fully alive.
  • “I was a talking Christian most of my life.  I’ve just been a walking Christian for the last few years.”  (from a Board member)
  • Poor leaders drink their own Kool-Aid.
  • Strong leaders take people somewhere they normally wouldn’t want to go.
  • A leader without followers is only taking a walk.
  • Leaders create self-fulfilling prophecies in a positive way.

I’m grateful for the momentum and focus with which our church has begun 2013.  I also believe that as our Board eats together, plays together, learns together, and prays together, they will be that much more able to direct us together.