Cultivating Servant Leaders through the Young… | UMC YoungPeople
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January 2018

Cultivating Servant Leaders through the Young Leaders Summit 2017

By Dale Cancio

Cultivating Servant Leaders through the Young Leaders Summit 2017
Dale Cancio

On October 18-22, 2017, twenty-nine (29) young leaders from the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Mongolia gathered at the Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary in Baguio City for the 2017 Young Leaders Summit, which is the primary leadership development program of Young People’s Ministries for the Central Conferences. A video presentation of the Summit's highlights can be found by clicking this link:

Cultivating Servant Leaders. Discipleship is like gardening. Seeds of faith are planted in young people. For the seed to grow into a healthy plant, it needs nurturing. Over time as the plant grows, it will become fruitful. On the other hand, if the environment is not healthy, the seeds of faith may wilt and die.

We believe that leadership is an expression of discipleship. Jesus implied leadership in His command: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Leadership flows from being a disciple of Jesus. It is not just about skills or performance, but about character and transformation. The disciples were followers, but they were also leaders.

Recently, Discipleship Ministries launched the #SeeAllThePeople campaign to encourage local churches to develop an intentional disciple-making system that is based on their context. #SeeAllThePeople is based on Ephesians 3:14-21 and 2 Timothy 2:2, “A disciple is one who knows Christ, is growing in Christ, serving Christ, and sharing Christ.”

We have gathered young leaders from different parts of the Philippines and SouthEast Asia to:

  • invest in their further leadership development;
  • to establish and develop good relationships and camaraderie in sharing common Christian beliefs and respect their diverse cultural expressions;
  • to provide an avenue for sharing challenges and successes in ministries from different contexts, and allowing them to learn from each other to strengthen ministries in their context;
  • to allow them the opportunity to identify the current realities of their church utilizing a framework of the Appreciative Inquiry and Future Search prosses;
  • to train participants to use online platforms properly and effectively for ongoing conversation, consultation, coordination and collaboration with one another;
  • to discover Biblical models and retrieve Wesleyan/Methodist framework or practices that are relevant today; and
  • to redefine and strengthen discipleship within and outside the church.

Rev. Junius Dotson, the General Secretary of Discipleship Ministries, says, “Discipleship is not a program, it is a way of being in relationship with Jesus Christ, it is a life long journey.” We are called to be servant leaders in our church. And we are not just called to be leaders in the church, but also in the community where we are. Our aim is to cultivate young servant leaders to stand for the church and to make disciples for leadership, for change, and for the transformation of the world. May the church continue to discover and nurture the potential of young leaders, guide them, and be their inspiration for their ministries.

Dale Cancio currently serves as the Philippine Staff of Young People’s Ministries, a unit of the Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church