Being asked to be a coach at the Evangel Dean School of Urban Church Planting combined two of my favorite things, church planting and coaching. Although to be honest, the caliber of leaders that were in attendance limited the need for much coaching on my part. We had 14 teams consisting of 2-4 persons per team. Each team will go back to their area of the country and assemble a similar training for church plant teams to be trained and deployed. In simplistic but accurate terms, we are investing into the leaders that will head up church planting movements. It is a humbling experience to be in a room full of focused leaders that understand what sacrifice and commitment they are stepping into.
Reflecting back to the Dean School experience, one image keeps coming back into my mind. It is when we, the coaches and staff were cleaning up and taking everything down, loading the truck and vans to take everything back to our campus. We were blessed to use a church site that could accommodate our growing numbers, but that meant extra work in setup and teardown.
As we were cleaning up after the school, I kept seeing Reverend Dr. Don Davis right in the thick of things – stacking chairs, hauling heavy boxes to the moving truck, going up and down the stairs with equipment, never taking a break. The participants were on their way back home via the airport or long drives, but I wish they could have witnessed the true reality of leadership that Dr. Davis embodies. He is the creator of the curriculum and the creator of the Dean’s school and the creator of The Urban Ministry Institute, and yet a servant of those he is empowering. None of us are spring chickens anymore and I know we all were exhausted, but Dr. Davis had been presenting, meeting with leaders and coaching…he out-worked most all of us. Yet he is there leading in the clean up as well.
He typifies what he is challenging the future Deans of church plant schools to be: servant leaders, leaders in every aspect. If only half of the leaders who attended the school grasp this part of being a leader—this type of humility, hard work and love for those they lead—they will have success in not only planting churches but also in starting movements of church planting…look out world!