This last week was somewhat of a milestone in our ministry.
The Senior Leadership Initiative (SLI) Cohort, to which Jen helps to give oversight, met in person for the first time since October of 2019.
This group of nearly 30 leaders represents the breadth of Cru ministries, from Campus to Family Life, Jesus Film to Athletes in Action. City, Josh McDowell and Global Headquarters are also represented as well as participants from Cru ministries serving in a number of overseas locations.
Potential leaders are nominated by their division leadership and encouraged to apply to participate in this unique 2 year development program.
The cohort is divided into 4 modules, lasting 6 months each. Each module has a live one-week conference that delivers content relevant to the theme of that particular module. These in-person conferences are critical to providing a relational component that encourages connection and collaboration among these rising leaders who serve in different Cru divisions.
The cohort was scheduled to meet in person in April 2020 in San Antonio to kick off the 2nd module, but as you know, all in person meetings and gatherings were suspended due to Covid.
The design team on which Jen serves had to pivot and re-imagine how to deliver content and a leadership development experience in a strictly virtual environment.
We are fortunate to have technology platforms like Zoom for connecting virtually, but duplicating a week-long in-person conference into an online platform is particularly challenging.
For starters, nobody really wants to be in a Zoom meeting for 8 straight hours, much less for a full week!
Secondly, if you’ve ever been to a live conference or retreat, you know that there is so much that happens in the margins that just can’t be duplicated virtually. Side conversations happen at your table during the breaks and over meals that magnify the conference experience.
If Covid has taught us anything, it’s that there is no replacement for live, physical interactions with other humans.
This last week gave the participants an opportunity to experience those interactions first-hand, as their SLI experience came to a conclusion in San Diego. Because of the proximity of this module to our home, I was able to join Jen for the week and work remotely.
The SLI Design team did an amazing job keeping things together during this challenging season and helping this cohort to finish strong!
In addition, because of how Covid impacted large gatherings and conferences, we were blessed to be able to experience this module in a prime location that normally would be out of reach to us financially. It was certainly nice to be able to experience the week in such an amazing location.
Please pray for these leaders as they seek to implement what they’ve learned into their own leadership situation. Many of these leaders are moving into significant positions of responsibility within the organization. Pray that the leadership lessons they’ve learned will multiply their impact and influence, resulting in many more changed lives.
Thank you for your partnership with us that enables us to influence the next generation of leaders amongst Cru staff as well as Young Professionals in our community and around the world!