Getting Out of the Starting Blocks...
The beginning of DLI will always point back to the mission (calling) from the Lord to build heathy leaders that create healthy ministries and communities. We often say, “how can we expect an unhealthy leader to lead a healthy ministry?” It just doesn’t happen, and time will show if left unchecked. The goal of joining in with DLI is not just training but, ultimately, to become a healthier (spiritually, emotionally, physically, socially, financially, etc.) leader who prioritizes well and lives out those priorities.
In 2009 several of us who serving as youth pastors and pastors in the urban neighborhoods of Denver gathered together monthly for one year learning and growing together as leaders. This led to the start of DLI in 2011 with the the core program being a one-year cohort that borrowed from the leadership principles and training adopted from the Devos Urban Leadership Foundation and the small group “learning community” model developed by Urban Youth Workers Institute.
Read HERE for more early history on the formation of Denver Leadership Initiative and how God used Pastor Micah Espinoza to pioneer and lead the effort.
Checkpoints along the way...
It is great to get out of the blocks well in a track meet, but we also need to monitor how we are doing along the way - pacing ourselves is key to finishing well. DLI is about helping Christian leaders to lead well in family and ministry for the long haul so checkpoints are vital for all of us. Here are some of DLI's checkpoints worth noting:
Rather than a weekend or week long event – the DLI core program was designed for an extended period of time to allow many times of self-evaluation and self-reflection, feedback and encouragement from others.
These quarterly events are days set aside for ministry leaders to be still and listen carefully to the Lord – not something that most of us in ministry find easy to do with our demanding ministry environment.
Twice a year we host alumni events as a point of check in with others and an opportunity to refresh ourselves on our core values and principles as Christian leaders in Denver.
North Arrow - those few things that keep us moving in the right direction and prevent us from moving off to the left or right. These are in place for us to remind us of the directions God has given us and to help us to make needed adjustments when we do get off course.