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KLI: Encouraging, Training Young Leaders in Ministry

Posted: 6/13/18 at 7:45am. Article by Nic Uebel.

Last month, ten young adults from across Virginia gathered in the Outer Banks for the 2018 Kairos Leadership Initiative (KLI) Retreat. KLI identifies and develops emerging leaders active in BGAV-sponsored-and-supported collegiate ministries and churches by immersing them in one year of in-depth leadership training. Each year these young leaders gather for three retreats, participate in coaching and mentoring, and read to help them discover their identities in Christ, consider their vocational calling, and live out these things in their contexts.

During the May retreat, this cohort engaged the questions of calling and context with the help of some of the Kairos campus ministers and some outside speakers. Dr. Lynn Brinkley from Campbell University helped the group work through questions of God’s calling.

“I feel that my future ministry will be greatly shaped by what I learned there.”

John Upton, executive director of the BGAV, attended and shared a picture of the global Church and a vision of its future in the lifetimes of these young adults. He warned them that as leaders in the church, they will feel the temptation to compromise the gospel in order to hold on to power. “Be better leaders than that,” he urged them.

Dan White from the V3 Church Planting Movement spoke to the group about living a rooted life of mission. The group also got to visit the Wright Brothers National Memorial to consider lessons from their lives and leadership.

Between these teaching sessions, the cohort engaged in times of group reflection, worship, prayer, community meals, and relaxation on the beach. They will gather one more time in October at our Kairos Fall Gathering for a time of wrapping up the program and commissioning.

Olivia Haynes, a recent graduate of the University of Richmond who currently lives in Fredericksburg, said, “The KLI retreat was a wonderful place to listen for God’s voice and re-imagine Christian community with other leaders who are doing the same. It was such a privilege to hear from the speakers who came and shared their insights with us,” she expressed. “I feel that my future ministry will be greatly shaped by what I learned there.”

Another member of the cohort, Austin Williams, commented, “I had an amazing week and learned a lot about who God has made me to be. I’m excited to see how I can take the lessons learned and apply them to my life and future.” Williams is from Buckingham and is a rising senior at Virginia Commonwealth University.

More information about the Kairos Leadership Initiative is available at http://kairosinitiative.org/. Applications for the 2019 cohort will be available later this summer.

Nic Uebel is a Baptist Collegiate Minister at Virginia Commonwealth University.