by May Ying Yang, Saint Paul Hmong Mennonite Church, Saint Paul, MN
What does it look like to follow the Holy Spirit instead of trying to lead it? How do you know that your plans are God's plans? How do you determine God's calling for you? How do you follow Jesus Christ's leadership model and put it into practice in today's church?
On November 15-16, 2019, Saint Paul Hmong Mennonite Church held our first Leadership Retreat at Mt. Olivet Conference & Retreat Center in Minnesota. The retreat was held to bring leaders together to work on building strong relationships, and to develop leadership skills through trainings, worship, fellowship and activities.
The retreat began with worship and a sermon by Pastor Xeng about the importance of being a leader. Worship and prayer were an important part of the retreat.
The first worship was led by Phil Stoltzfus. He reviewed and taught about Anabaptist history and important Anabaptist theological themes such as Salvation and Discipleship, The Lord's Supper, Christian Community and Peacemaking. His passionate teaching was inspiring.
Later Seng Vang taught about being a disciple of Jesus and listening for God's call. We were invited to ask ourselves questions like: Am I listening to God's calling? Am I doing what God wants me to do rather than my own heart's desire? Am I willing to fully commit my body to God and to follow God like Peter, Paul and many of the other disciples did?
The final teaching was from Shoua Thao. Shoua taught about "minding your focus," or the importance of focusing on God by overcoming spiritual distractions.
Before the retreat ended, the congregational board members (overseers) met with their assigned ministry leadership group to talk about the roles people were invited to, and to answer their questions. Each ministry group also had time to share their goals and plan for the coming year.
The church leaders enjoyed the retreat because everyone was able to learn something useful for their ministry. Many look forward to having a retreat like this again as it's a great way to renew, reflect, and refresh oneself spiritually, mentally, and physically before serving the church.
Our church leadership team are so grateful for the love, support, and help that CPMC and local churches give to us. May the Lord our God continue to bless each one of you abundantly.
May Ying Yang and the leadership team received money from the New Ministries Fund, administered by the CPMC Conference Board for their leadership retreat.
The New Ministries Fund is distributed for programs or events that facilitate relationships, assist witness, aid in leadership development, or nurture Christian formation. Applications to receive New Ministries Fund money are available by contacting the Executive Conference Minister.
The CPMC Conference Board meets four times a year, rotating meeting locations among the communities of our conference. Meeting dates and times are published in The Sower.