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“Doubling Down” on Investing in High-Potential Young Leaders

Upticks met with Spence Network leaders in the conference room at the Ukrop Conference Center at CrossRoads.
Upticks met with Spence Network leaders in the conference room at the Ukrop Conference Center at CrossRoads.

Spence Network LogoEarlier this week John Chandler and Laura McDaniel of the Spence Network convened an overnight retreat at CrossRoads Camp & Conference Center with several Uptick alums.

The goal?

“We’re seeking input as we continue to vision how the Spence Network can really attend to the leadership pipeline,” John explained. “How do we begin to ‘double-down’ in investing people who have high capacity who are in the 25-35 age range?”

What is Uptick? Uptick(SM) is the premier development track for high-potential leaders offered by the Spence Network.

As a referral-based network of leaders who are typically in their twenties and who have already demonstrated significant potential for leading high-impact ministries in the future, Uptick:

  • Gives access to experiences and networks otherwise inaccessible to leaders of this age, and
  • Fast-tracks high-potential young leaders toward being able to lead high-impact ministries within 5-10 years.

While reflecting on their experience in the Uptick process, the alums noted that young leaders need both spiritual and practical advice as they grow into their leadership roles.

“The financial stuff is huge for folks my age.” Dane Jackson, Minister of Students at Second Baptist Church, Richmond, implored.

Rachel Shultz, a worship leader and goodChoice Program Manager at Goodwill Industries of Central Virginia, agreed. “Yes. Our generation does not have basic budgeting and financial skills.”

Heads nodded in agreement as participants shared how they struggled with being good stewards of God’s resources as they juggled student loan debt, high rents, and modest pay.

Agreement also centered around the need to teach young leaders how to take sabbath. Participants noted that one has to be intentional about taking it, else the busyness of ministry and life takes over.

Other areas of discussion focused on how the mentorship and leadership process could intersect global partnerships through Virginia Baptists.

As the retreat came to a close, John and Laura thanked them for their input. “Good. Thank you. This definitely helps us move the ball down the field.”