Missional and Pioneer Leadership Training
by Rev. Dr. Alfredo Delgado
Los Ranchos Presbytery finds great joy in empowering people to live a flourishing Christian life and facilitating spaces to train Christian leaders to serve their local communities. The Missional and Pioneer Leadership Training is part of Los Ranchos Presbytery’s efforts to create opportunities to equip leaders to work on church revitalization projects or start new ministries or worshipping communities.
During the 2022 training, we had more than 20 leaders participating on and off, and 14 were consistently part of this training opportunity. We used a hybrid model so people could be in person or online; sometimes, we had more in-person than online, and at other times we had more people online. These leaders came from several new worshipping communities and established congregations. We also had participants from San Gabriel, Santa Barbara, and San Diego presbyteries.
Our presenters came from across our presbytery, synod, and the national Church. The topics aimed to facilitate opportunities to learn, or relearn, how to lead transformational work among established churches and start new outreaches and new worshipping communities according to the local realities.
The training included how to interpret the local communities and their potential for ministry. It also gave us insight into how to create a leadership core group, nurture and multiply missional leaders, and practice our form of government in a practical and relevant manner. Public speaking and self-care were other elements included in the training.
Several pastors and pioneers shared how this educational tool expanded their vision and missional approach. They also felt the training provided a sense of community for people experimenting with new possibilities and wrestling with other realities.
Please read some of their comments below:
The Missional and Pioneer Leadership Training I attended this year was very beneficial to me as a leader in my Church and as a person who is very concerned about the future of our Christian Faith. At the start of this long educational journey, I was very skeptical. Skeptical because I really didn’t know what to expect. Well, I was pleasantly surprised, and my skepticism was quickly replaced by the desire to see the next class, the next presenter, and the next story that verified my concerns yet showed answers and positive experiences. Each presenter was more than an expert in their field, and they had lived the journey that made them and our Christian Faith even stronger.
– Johnnie B. Hitt, Elder, Yorba Linda Presbyterian Church
The Missional and Pioneer Leadership gave me tools to reach out and invite people to worship in our community. It taught me that we could impact our society’s children, youth, and adults with the gospel, by adapting to each generation without compromising the truthfulness and essence of the gospel. I am grateful for the teachings each presenter shared.
– Brenda Maribel Acosta, Pioneer Leader, Iglesia Cristiana de Las Americas (NWC)
The Missional and Pioneer Leadership Training program is a valuable educational opportunity within the Presbytery. It was helpful to have general information on community analysis and leadership principles from the unique perspective of new worshiping community development. It was exciting to see what could be done with so little—that a pioneer leader with a dream and a plan could start a unique community driven by a shared vision within a supportive environment.
– Mary Deming, Elder, Morningside Presbyterian Church
I am grateful for the Missional and Pioneer Leadership Training experience. It provided great ministry ideas and insights as well of plenty of encouragement for my own ministry. Meeting and learning from the experience and wisdom of leaders that have gone through the experience of planting and developing congregations gave me hope.
– Rev. Roberto Ramirez, Iglesia de La Comunidad, San Gabriel Presbytery
Coming into a new ministry within the Presbyterian church The Missional and Pioneer Leadership Training has been fundamental in our leadership and transition to the new church. To be able to understand the rules and be introduced to a community of leaders who can support one another has been a blessing. [For] any challenges we may face – [like] seasons of feeling burnt out, The Missional and Pioneer Leadership Training equips us with the tools to succeed, [and] overcome in our ministries. The monthly meetings have been an encouragement to me as I navigate leading TTPC.
– Pioneer Leader Andrew Huang, Tustin Taiwanese Presbyterian Church (NWC)
Rev. Dr. Alfredo Delgado is the Consultant for New Worshiping Communities and Church Revitalization for the Presbytery of Los Ranchos and the Interim Pastor of Morningside Presbyterian Church in Fullerton.