What on earth is a huddle?

In April I wrote that, if I were to go back and begin again at Liberton, the main thing I would have done differently would have been to focus much more of my time on training up leaders from within the church. Since September of last year I have been doing just this through the formation of our very first leadership huddle, and this huddle has now become one of the personal highlights of my ministry.

What is a leadership huddle? Firstly, it’s not a leadership team meeting, nor is it a house group fellowship. Rather, it’s a meeting of leaders in training. Roughly speaking, the leadership huddle follows the pattern used by Jesus himself.

When Jesus trained his disciples a number of things stand out:
o He chose them personally, according to character rather than their knowledge and experience
o He spent a set amount of time with them
o They journeyed with him, sharing in his experience
o They learned directly from his example
o They learned together, as a community
o He got them to put what they learned into practice
o He then commissioned them to go and train (disciple) others

This is the model we have been following here at Liberton. A group of us have been meeting together once every two weeks for an hour: exploring what our faith means in practice and what God might be calling us to be and do, and experiencing firsthand the benefits of being part of a supportive and trusting fellowship. This is our ‘Leadership Huddle’, and I am not alone in finding it a wholly worthwhile use of my time. Here are some of the comments its members made the last time we ‘huddled’:

“I feel more comfortable and confident in my ability to help others”
“I came along thinking I could maybe support another leader, but now I feel I may have something valuable to contribute myself”
“It’s a safe place to share dreams”
“It’s helping me to explore my own gifts”
“You know you are not alone in terms of your hopes and fears – something I don’t often experience”
“I have come to appreciate that everyone has different gifts, and there’s a place for each of us in the church”
“Our discussions are deeper and more intimate than I have experienced, and I go away to reflect more”
“I love the way, if you say something in the group, people will hold you to it”

As a direct result of our regular ‘huddles’ someone is now taking a turn at preaching, someone is starting up a house group, someone is taking the lead with our ‘late teens and 20s’, someone is taking a leading role with Libbi’s Cafe, and three people are going to help run our next Alpha course.

I am now hoping to start a new leadership huddle in the autumn. If you think you know someone who has the potential for being a leader at Liberton Kirk, please let me know.

Much love