i just got back from five days in toronto as part of a leadership training projecct called emerging leaders. inter-varsity has invited 30 of their staff to participate in a series of 4-5 weeklong modules, in the hopes of developing leaders and deploying them in new ways within the organization.
this last module was a lot of work. it was a slightly shorter version of a seminary course on lifelong leadership development, led by dr. shelley trebesch. we read a couple of books before the course, as well as preparing a five-page autobiography, then entered into a week of lectures and various assignments designed to help us reflect on how God had made us and ways He had led us and worked through us in the past. we considered the ministry activities that seemed attended by the special blessing of God, and recalled scripture and other words that we had been given. could we see the seeds of destiny that God had been sowing in our lives over many years, sometimes before we had even consciously entered into a life with Him? we studied a generalized pattern of a leader's development over a lifetime, and then constructed our own timelines, trying to discern how God might be working right now and in the near future.
the goal of all of this was to hear God afresh, especially in light of all that He's already done in our lives. it was a fascinating time, filled with insight and questions in probably equal measures. i laboured over my timeline, and finally got it to a place where i was satisfied, then wondered: what does all of this mean?
an exercise i especially appreciated was to list the destiny experiences from our past — events, words, people, experiences that we felt that God had used to guide us. i was amazed and reassured to find a very long list (i quit counting at 40), and grateful to realize how often and in how many ways God has led me in the past.
of course, the pregnant question leaving the weekend was: what will God do next? how will He lead me and my family? i came away from the time feeling encouraged, full of faith and expectation!