Five members of Lifepoint Church traveled to Haiti last week for a mission trip to do leadership training. Billy Crain, Brent Holman, Elizabeth  and Peyton Bullen and I all set off early Saturday morning not knowing what God had in store for us. Our purpose was to train leaders of FBC Pernier AND BE FLEXIBLE!  If you have ever been on a mission trip you understand the seriousness of that word.

Mornings were filled with great food, a balcony with a beautiful view, cold showers,  and plenty of quite time to talk with God about all your about to face during the day.

Each day was filled with service opportunities and surprises.  Sunday worship was lively and full of volume as the people sang to the top of their lungs tunes that we all knew, but words we did not understand. Most of us were moved to tears by the intense worship and I realized God is God no matter what or where you are. Monday through Thursday we helped furnish a children’s home, conducting a mobile clinic, visiting in homes of church members who lived on the mountain and then a day at the orphanage.

The Children’s Home will house 20 kids when it opens in March. The mobile clinic was in one of the 84 Tent Cities.  It is very intimidating to be somewhere that does not a sense of personal space, you don’t speak the language, and the need is so great. The orphanage houses 47 children, 30 of which are up for adoption. The free school inside the orphanage has an enrollment of 114 children.

Each evening we conducted leadership training at the church. We used Jesus on Leadership by Gene Wilkes which helps people discover their: Spiritual Gifts, Experiences, Relational Style (personality), Vocational Skills and Enthusiasm (passion).  The theme that arose each night was the lack of apprenticing.  Even the translators had trouble finding a word to use to describe the process of ‘teaching someone what you know so they can do what you do and multiply yourself.’ The practice of apprenticing future leaders is non-existent in the language and lives of the people. I wonder if some of our teams in America have trouble with the practice or even using the word apprenticing?

Our week ended with the Pastor of FBC saying “Marvelous.  This is Marvelous. This is an answer to prayer!”  We will be sending three more teams this year, each continuing the teaching and modeling of apprenticing. The goal is for each current leader to have multiplied themselves by June through apprenticing .

What about your church, do you have a word for apprenticing?  Do you practice apprenticing and teach the practice to those around you.  We must develop the next generation of leaders by sharing what we know.

(For more pointed leadership development discussion see the blog post “I got it covered” from February 1.)