EVOLUTION(s) dictionary definition:
1. Any process of formation or growth; development: the evolution of a language; the evolution of the airplane.
2. A product of such development; something evolved: The exploration of space is the evolution of decades of research.
3. A process of gradual, peaceful, progressive change or development, as in social or economic structure or institutions.
Evolutions is a series written from my perspective as a leader in the community of YWAM Harpenden. It is not about seeking to do something new in this season, but about learning to recognise God’s leading over a decade and our desire to build intentionally and clearly on these good foundations. To build with gold and to see exponential growth in God’s Kingdom. I think the definitions in this light speak for themselves.
I have just spent a couple of days with the main leadership of a YWAM base in the Netherlands. What a joy it was to be with them and see what they are up to and the variety of new things going on and continued ministry growth. On one of the evenings, the base leader and I sat together going through online personality tests. He had never done any of them before and we found a number of tests from DiSc to Myers Briggs and even Strength Finders. It was fun to compare our results and talk about our leadership styles, how we work with people and what the best working environment would be for us to flourish in.
These tests are fantastic for helping you understand yourself, your preferred context and most fruitful contributions to the work place. Not only that but they help you understand others too, how they tick and what the best environments for them might be also. This is important for leaders to understand in creating environments for those that they are responsible for to become more fulfilled and productive.
These kinds of tests give you a print out of information about what type of person you are (we even have great people on site that help explain them), but this information is best worked out in a thriving community or workplace where people are committed to one another’s growth and success. Shouldn’t our very own communities be just like that? A place where all people and emerging leaders find opportunities to learn about the best version of themselves, being able to test it out in every day living?
All of our combined learning environments from work duties to the classroom, to meeting with coaches and mentors and local outreaches should, in principle, amount to a holistic personality indicator programme. Not technological or academic, but organic, found in working alongside people who are committed to seeing you grow and becoming aware of all that you were meant to be.
This is the dream to be a part of an organic learning environment where extraordinary people who love Jesus emerge into the wider world to make a difference for Him. It is also an issue of self- leadership where the individual takes responsibility for their own growth, becoming a life long learner. By encouraging this we could see many more people equipped and prepared for all kinds of situations, able to teach, able to lead others, able to create new projects and turn ideas into reality.
This sums up our vision as a community, a learning environment that transcends just the academic, allowing healthy and Godly roots to grow in multiple directions. A place where people learn, grow, go deeper and are equipped to become world changers for Jesus. Wouldn’t you want be part of such a community?
Photos: Lauren Malpass, Nice Bowers