On the CREST of a New Ministry Wave
After 20 years in pastoral ministry I finally feel ready to start being a pastor. Before I started I went to Bible College and learned theology and how to interpret the Bible; both very important things for pastors. As I got into the ministry it gradually became more evident that there was a whole lot more to this calling than just those two critical elements. There was this thing called leadership that was expected of me. I was not well equipped for that.
I recently completed a 2-year leadership course, specifically geared to mid-life leaders, with CREST Leadership Centre. CREST provided me with a very good foundation in this vital area. I now feel, finally, that I have tools to start really doing my job. I came into CREST struggling with boredom and a lack of inspiration for the future of my ministry. Wow has that changed!
During the course of the CREST program I’ve come to understand myself so much better. I’ve gone through a number of seminars, spiritual direction, counseling and other exercises for personal growth over the years and found them all helpful in various ways. The CREST program however has been like pulling back an opaque veil that kept me from seeing things clearly all these years.
The coaching calls in between encounters, combined with the assignments and the time for reflection, have combined to increase my level of insight dramatically. Today I feel like I am at a whole new level of self awareness which enables me to both embrace and reject opportunities with a greater confidence than I have ever known. I now know that I need to let others thrive on tasks that really drain me but I always thought I ‘should’ do. I also understand that my greatest contribution to God’s kingdom will probably be in areas I really enjoy and do well. This has not only affected my ministry, it has spilled over into every area of my life.
It is now clearer than ever to me that in order to be at my very most effective best, I must do two things:
- Focus my time and energy on learning, speaking and leading the conceptual visioning process.
- Surround myself with a team of people who can follow up on my initiatives, manage things day to day and connect with individuals in need.
After an analysis of my current ministry situation it is clear to me that I can make some positive changes to move me in that direction and I have already taken some steps.
I feel much better equipped to do this now after having been introduced to a number of wonderful tools. Required reading introduced me to amazingly valuable resources that impacted me significantly. Then there were other books, too many to list, that were simply recommended along the way that have proven invaluable to me in my learning journey. From these I came to recognize that learning is central to who I am. I need to learn to thrive. This hasn’t always intuitively drawn me toward learning environments but now I see it clearly and can plan for that intentionally.
I have also seen clearly how some of the significant transitions in my life have and are contributing profoundly to my changing perspectives. I can now more proactively work together with these processes to see their fullest benefits in my life.
I have also come to see my role in building organizations much more clearly based on my enhanced self-understanding. I have so much more confidence going into situations and bowing out of others that I know others will lead much better than me. I feel very empowered in face of the coming challenges of my life and career.
CREST gave me a number of very solid practical leadership tools to help me do my job better on many fronts. From time management tools, to techniques for leading meetings, to effective coaching skills and powerful communication resources, CREST covered a wonderful plethora of carefully chosen principles.
The nice thing with the pace is that it was manageable to implement many of these tools into my ministry routine. I felt like I was growing as a leader with the opportunity to do a hands-on ‘internship’ as I went along. Other leaders in the church could tell that they were really getting value for the investment the church was making in me as well.
I now have a new excitement for ministry and a vision for the future that I haven’t had for years. I feel like I am looking forward to what’s around the corner again like I did when I was young. I also feel like I have a much clearer picture of what God created me to do and some clarified ideas of how He may want me to do that. I have started dreaming again.
My deepest heartfelt dream is to become everything God created me to be. This I believe will give Him the greatest glory. CREST has made a significant contribution to moving me solidly in that direction, for which I am immensely grateful. I am very hopeful that the second half of my ministry will be much more effective than the first, thanks to the clarity and synthesis of learning which CREST has given me.
I would highly recommend CREST to any one who really has a desire to grow in a healthy rhythm and in the process discover their fuller potential for the second half of their life leadership journey.
Rev. Dallas Bidell
Lead Pastor – Whitecourt Family Worship Centre