L.E.A.D. (Leadership Enrichment And Development) serves the Canadian Foursquare Church by enriching current leaders and developing emerging leaders through formal and informal educational opportunities. Our assignment is to make leadership training attainable, available, and affordable.
If the Canadian Foursquare Church is to become a leading denomination in Canada and if our pastors are to become credible leaders in their communities, we must embrace ministerial education personally and promote it within our churches. This is a necessary response to the increased sophistication of our society and to the never-ending struggle to maintain the church’s significance and influence in an educated and demanding culture.
LEAD aspires to make ongoing gains toward a FGCC culture that fully embraces the value and scope of ministerial education. Our vision for the future is “Passionate Faith together with Intellectual Excellence” for all our FGCC ministers.
Educational and Professional Development for Current Leaders
Pastors, like most professionals in our increasingly educated world, need ongoing development. Unfortunately, they seldom have the time or finances to make it happen. The L.E.A.D. Council is considering ways to overcome that obstacle:
- Provide time in the pastor’s busy schedule for training each year by offering a short sabbatical with educational opportunities to every Canadian Foursquare pastor (a current initiative of the C.A.R.E Committee).
- Develop an endowment fund within the National Office to provide matching funds for pastors who take the initiative to complete their baccalaureate or masters degrees. Local churches should also be encouraged, where possible, to contribute toward their pastor’s ongoing education.
- Link pastors with proven training events, like CCN (the U.S. Foursquare training telecasts), and Willowcreek’s annual Leadership Summits.
- Offer our own made-in-Canada short-track training options for leaders during conventions, regional intensives, summer modules at PLBC, and through webcasts and DVDs.
- Create opportunities for pastors to write about and share their ideas and ministry passions with colleagues (ie. Symposiums).
Training Options for Emerging Leaders
Together we will need to carry this renewed emphasis on education into mentoring a new generation of leaders. Because we expect them to do more than we did against challenges greater than what we experienced, they will require extreme discipleship, higher standards of education, and more effective practical skills development:
- Help resource strong churches in developing discipleship programs for young people, eg. Master’s Commission, Emerging Leader Network (new U.S. Foursquare version of MC), or our own Canadian Foursquare approach.
- Network church institutes with a standardized leadership curriculum designed to fast-track mature students.
- Encourage students serious about church leadership, especially young people, to complete a college degree (ie. Regional Scholarships).
- Explore seminary options (or possibly an institutional partnership) so that PLBC, LifeLine, and other grads with undergraduate degrees have a direct and transferable relationship with an accredited graduate program.
Education alone is not enough. Without providing practical ministry opportunities we will lose this next generation of leaders. Mentoring young ministerial candidates requires a sacrifice of time and money, but it’s an essential investment in our future:
- Implement a comprehensive internship program for emerging leaders. PLBC has now created a thorough manual for a one year internship program designed to connect our graduates with Foursquare churches.
- Identify and network specific churches in key regions as interning centres.
- Create a funding partnership between qualifying students, their interning church, and the national church to help support them through the internship process.