Church Innovations’ Partners Post

April 22, 2009

South African Elections

Filed under: Bremer Partnership,Uncategorized — ptellison @ 8:22 am

Listening to NPR today on my way into work, I heard South Africa’s CoPe party’s presidential candidate, Mr. Dandala, say something that made me think of the Bremer project and how it connects congregations to the community around them. 

He predicted that new young leadership for all parties will rise, and then he mentioned where these leaders will come from. His first source was churches.

He spoke the truth.  As our churches lead in change, our churches will raise leaders who will lead the whole community.  As the congregations in the Bremer project will see, the work they do now to build spiritual discernment habits and to build community invitation habits will result in stronger communities with more abundant gifts.  Churches grow faith – deeper relationships with God and one another.  And because of that, churches grow leaders.


  1. Hey Pat,
    Good article connecting church to leadership. Sooooo true. Probably also true regarding church choirs and Rock n’ Roll musicians (i.e. Madonna, Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Cash, Little Richard, Elvis, and so many more). Probably not the connection you were looking for :) .

    Comment by Paul Hill — April 22, 2009 @ 1:17 pm

  2. Pat, I agree with your observation and it has some real historic ties to South Africa. My Lutheran church contacts in Norway have told me that Nelson Mandela and his trusted inner circle of political colleagues grew up being educated in Lutheran schools. In fact, church leaders in Norway went down to South Africa while Mandela was still in prison and offered substantial help (including money). When Mandela was released, he and a number of leaders spent time in Scandinavia (I think it was a retreat center in Norway) getting support and training on how to proceed with the social, political, and economic revolution taking place there.

    I would expand on Paul Hill’s comments by pointing out that many public leaders, including musicians, probably got their start in congregational life, like being lectors, acolytes, peer ministers, or in church choirs. David W. Anderson, The Youth & Family Institute.

    Comment by David W. Anderson — April 27, 2009 @ 7:28 am

  3. In our research, reading thousands of congregational interviews for 20 years now, we know that churches see their biggest dreams for their own local future when they see many children in Sunday school and choir. Yet if they’re honest, they’ll admit that most of those children probably move somewhere else when they’re grown up. Each local church DOES raise a new generation of the faithful, but they are seeding growth for other “towns and places where Jesus intends to go” (Luke 10). As we nurture faith, talent, leadership, we don’t know whom it will serve (churches, night clubs, the Oval Office), but we are stewards if we do nurture it. How great would it be if kids grew up in churches that worshipped vibrantly, had fair fights, and encouraged servant leadership?

    Comment by ptellison — April 27, 2009 @ 7:40 am

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