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SUMMER RECAP: Life & Leadership Conferences Continue to Bear Good Fruit

There are plenty of ways to measure success.  In the world of ministry, however, the best way to measure the success of any endeavor is to answer one simple question:  Did it bear good fruit?

fr terryHaving just completed our second year of Life & Leadership Conferences — an endeavor that required many, many resources to take on — CEC For Life feels confident that the answer to this question is YES.  We have seen the good fruit, and we consider these new conferences a great success. (And we thank God for that!)

While in Europe this past month, we held two conferences — one in Paris, France, and one in Cologne, Germany.  At each conference, the number of attendees far exceeded expectation.  In fact, we had twice as many people show up than planned!  Sure, that meant we were short on supplies, but anyone who attended the conferences knows that a leader is, first and foremost, a problem-solver.  We absolutely didn’t mind solving that problem.

As with our inaugural conference, Fr. Terry Gensemer and Bishop Jose Elmer Belmonte conducted the majority of the teaching.

Fr. Terry covered the vital characteristics of a leader, drawing from real life examples like Martin Luther King Jr., Sophie Scholl and Manny Pacquiao.  He discussed the importance of knowing your enemy, the importance of perseverance, and how to practically stay focused on the vision God has given you.

“Things that really matter,” he said during one session, “take a long time to change. How far are you willing to build into the future? The longer you are willing to build into the future, the more successful you’re going to be.”

Things that really matter take a long time to change. How far are you willing to build into the future? -Fr. Terry Gensemer

Bishop Belmonte focused on the many challenges Christian leaders face that can discourage and destroy their faith. He taught on how to avoid these pitfalls and how to maintain a rich and meaningful relationship with the Lord — the most prominent task of any Christian leader.

bishop conferenceThis year we also added a new layer to our leadership training!  Fr. Donn Bautista from the church of St. Peter and St. Paul in Paris, France, took the combined teaching of Fr. Terry and Bishop Belmonte and created activities that demonstrated practical application.  Anything from tactical and strategic exercises to relay races to breakout sessions that required each group to present a resolution to a real life conflict.  The activities were fun yet meaningful, and we were grateful for Fr. Donn’s exceptional creativity.

We are so excited to offer these Life & Leadership conferences — not just to CEC churches, but to any group that desires to hone their leadership skills and to raise up a new generation of leaders.

Equipping and encouraging the next generation to lead with power and wisdom is a vital aspect of this ministry.  The culture of Life can only be built by those willing to sacrifice and to shine a light in the darkness — even if some days they feel they are shining it alone.  That’s what leaders do. And it’s why people follow them.

Keep an eye on our emails and Facebook posts to see when the next Life & Leadership Conference will be coming to a church, state or country near you!

Reflections & Testimonies from Life & Leadership 2017…

“During this Leadership Training, I learned how difficult being a leader can be…One quote that I remember is ‘Don’t become a better you, become a better image of Christ.’  We need to restore what we were created to be, that is God’s image! I also liked the problematic situations that we had to discuss in order to solve them. They were definitely not easy!”

-Samuel Miguel (Paris, France)

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“Since attending I have felt strengthened and encouraged to pursue what God has placed in my heart rather than focusing on natural limitations, and to believe that my particular gifts can make a difference towards fulfilling the Great Commission and building a culture of life. The teaching also equipped me with valuable insights and principles for relationships and leadership, and impressed on me the importance of balancing hard work with a more complete devotional life and the need for proper sabbath rest and recreation.
-Dcn. Andrew Gossage (London, England)

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“Fr. Terry insisted that the real leader is the Servant-Leader.  Ever since I started studying the Bible last year, I have learned a lot more about Jesus.  In fact, He’s been changing me day by day…As a youth pastor I need God to give me the strength and the love to care and give my time for the young souls of His church.  Bishop Elmer also said: Preach what you practice and practice what you preach.  Instead of being a doctor of the Bible, like the Pharisees who only knew the Scripture in their mind,  I need to fully meditate on it, and fully practice it, so Jesus will be seen through my LIFE.”
-Joshua Bautista (Paris, France)
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“The ‘Heart of a Servant’ section was really key, and is sorely needed in our age. Fr. Terry’s topics ‘Communication is Critical’ and ‘Know & Admit Your Weaknesses’ were very relevant to my personal experience right now. I felt the workshops and exercises conducted by Fr. Donn were especially good, effective in emphasizing and illustrating the material, and were enjoyed by youth of all ages.”
-Fr. Dana Jackson, (London, England)
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