“Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.” (John 4:35)
“And he said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” (Luke 10:2)
The Balance Between Clergy and Lay Leaders
In the NOW District, we believe ministry is best “closest to the ground,” and leader identification and development is most effective in one-on-one and personal relationships between new leaders, mentors, and coaches. The NOW Leadership Initiative (L.I.) seeks to support a groundswell of fresh leadership activity across the district in every ministry location, focused on raising new workers for God’s harvest.
The NOW L.I. Story: At the November 2019 meeting in their annual evaluation of the District President, the District Board of Directors identified a new target for District staff: supporting a movement to recruit new leaders. This was put on hold due to the challenges of the pandemic, but resurfaced in 2021, and the Northwest District Leadership Initiative (NOW L.I.) was born. This initiative is grounded on local ministries as the best source for identifying and encouraging new leaders into service. The initiative draws its focus from a district-wide survey with 279 responses that identified the critical attitudes, behaviors, and abilities for leaders. You can find the summary of those findings here: A Good Northwest Leader Is...
In September 2021, LIFT YOUR EYES: Raising Up Leaders for Christ’s Mission was introduced as a toolkit for leadership groups, small groups, and other ministry groups looking for “next steps” in leader identification. Through this effort, each NOW District ministry identifies at least one new leader doing a new thing. The leader can be of any age or gender, with the key focus being “new leader-new ministry focus.” Ultimately, the initiative recognizes the need to raise up called leaders into ministry, yet it also casts a wide net for leaders of all kinds and in all communities and ministries in the NOW District.