*Location has been edited for safety.

Sixteen months had passed since my first 3-day seminar with 30 church leaders from a North African country. During the seminar I presented our ministry, discussed ways we might work together, and facilitated a course on Galatians. Our purpose together was not only for their personal study, but to help them look beyond themselves toward the equipping of new leaders. Multiple times I challenged their vision with these two thoughts:

“As I look around this room, I not only see you,
but those you will equip to be leaders like you.”

“As I facilitate this course with you,
my desire is that you can walk out the door and say with confidence
…you know, I can do this!”

Several weeks ago, we met for our fourth seminar. The group size was no longer 30, but now 17. Seeing the group size become smaller is not unusual. For some the study and the vision presented was not a priority…and that was okay. I wanted to work with those who were “all in” on the vision for the group.

So, at this last seminar I met with the “faithful 17”. Our three days were packed! I facilitated the Romans course which they studied before coming to the seminar. I must confess, not an easy task at times with lots of stimulating interaction from the group. Throughout the course I wove in many practical exercises designed to better prepare them to facilitate courses with their groups. And lastly, certificates were given to each for their satisfactory completion of four courses, plus forming and leading a 2nd generation group. One group already had a third generation!

Probably the highlight of the time for me was the personal sharing on the last morning. What rang true with each one was a gratefulness for all that they had learned…even though it was lots of work. And the music to my ears was hearing their confidence saying …”you know, I can do this”!

The main leader closed the time in prayer…and then reminded the group with these words from our first meeting together:

“As I look around this room, I not only see you,
but those you will equip to be leaders like you.”

I smiled!