Leadership Development

By Rick Wolcott*

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Districts across East Ohio offer training events to enhance the skills of clergy and laity.  Developing leaders, aligning resources and inspiring growth have been emphasized by Bishop John Hopkins as the building blocks necessary to increase the number of vital congregations in the conference.

Willing to Risk – Willing to Follow Jesus was the theme for the North Coast District Leadership Academy held at Rocky River United Methodist Church on February 1.  More than 400 people attended worship and then participated in their choice of three workshops, from a list of 32 offerings.


The Rev. Dan Bogre used 2 Kings 7:1-20 as the basis for his sermon, “We’ve Got Nothing to Lose.”  The scripture reminds us that God does have a calling for each of us, is patient and persistent and will make that calling known, whether we want to hear it or not.

“An amazing God called me into full-time Christian ministry when I was 18 and I ran the opposite direction as fast as I could,” Bogre said.  “I was certain that my will for my life was better than God’s.  As I was pursuing my will, my life just fell apart. Realizing that I could not run from God any longer, I said yes to my call and the gifts that God had given me. It has not always been smooth sailing, but it has been an incredible journey.”

Leadership Academy participants learned valuable information while modeling what it means to be followers of Christ.  This year’s lunch was the rice-based meal that Stop Hunger Now packages and sends to those in need around the world.

The meal was served as a reminder of the daily struggle of many of God’s children around the world.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFollowing lunch, 80 youth and their adult leaders joyfully packaged 25,056 meals in two hours for the international hunger relief agency.

Upcoming district leadership training events include:

Visit the East Ohio Conference Calendar for information on other leadership development opportunities.

*Rick Wolcott is director of communications for the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.