Read how leadership training at Christian Leaders Institute is blessing this pastor as he serves his local church.
Leadership Training at CLI
But Moses replied to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent — either in the past or recently or since you have been speaking to your servant — because my mouth and my tongue are sluggish.”
11 The Lord said to him, “Who placed a mouth on humans? Who makes a person mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I will help you speak, and I will teach you what to say.”
13 Moses said, “Please, Lord, send someone else.” — Exodus 4:10-13 (CSB)
This was me! I knew I was called to the ministry from the time I was saved at three years old. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Joshua Sylvester, and I am from the USA in a little town in rural Missouri called Iberia. Currently, I am pursuing leadership training at Christian Leaders Institute.
College Study and Military Service
When I began actively looking to the future and deciding where I would go to college, I thought that what I experienced at my conversion was just childish thinking. Ironic, since at that time, I was still a child in thought at least. Like most teenagers, I thought that I knew what was best for me better than anyone else, including God.
I spent one year in college and decided I wasn’t ready and needed more discipline. I knew that the best place for me to get the discipline that I wanted was the military. Therefore, I joined the USAF as a linguist. I will say a couple of things about that experience. God used it to open my eyes to the gift He gave me for languages. It was also the time a thorn in the flesh was given to me.
Military life is not easy. There is always someone telling you what to do. Even if they are not actively telling you, there are many rules and regulations that you are held accountable for knowing and keeping. There is always someone ready to fault you if you break a rule or regulation. The stress got to me, and I told God that I did not want to be a Christian any longer. God did not accept that proposition, and according to Proverbs 3:12 and Hebrews 12:6, God disciplined me. He allowed me to get an autoimmune disorder called Ulcerative Colitis. It is painful and permanent. Therefore, I see it as my thorn in the flesh. It is a reminder of where I came from and what I am called to do.
Spiritual Growth and Study at CLI
Through that experience, I grew in my knowledge and faith. I grew closer to God than I had ever been before. I still strive to continue to grow closer to Him through knowledge and faith. That is why I chose the Christian Leaders Institute for my ministry leadership training.
I am now a pastor, praise God! I am the Pastor of Family Discipleship at First Baptist Church in Iberia, Missouri. Coming into this position, I not only had to integrate into the leadership that was already in place, but I helped create this position to start a family discipleship ministry. So I am building a leadership team while becoming a part of a leadership team.
That is the reason that I took the leadership training class at CLI at this time. I wanted to do my best to be part of the church leadership and help bring the vision of the church to fruition. This leadership training class has helped me with that tremendously. A couple of things, in particular, have come at the right time in God’s sovereign way.
Leadership Training Application
First was leading through change. The church I am part of has been here for 175 years. They have a rich tradition, and change is hard for them. We (the leadership) have to introduce change in a way that alters small things slowly, so they see a need for more substantial change. The leadership training class at CLI has been beneficial with tips and strategies to get the church on board with our vision for discipling the whole family starting at home.
The second way the leadership training class helped is in dealing with conflict. There is one particular person in leadership that has refused to see the need for this position, and the need for the vision as a whole. He thinks things are beautiful the way they are and doesn’t want to change. The senior pastor and I have both talked to him. We are praying that God will change his heart. Therefore, we wait on God’s timing and see if this particular leader has heart change or if he will leave. The rest of the leadership team believes that this is what God is calling this church to do, and we already have seen the “first fruits” of the work.
Leadership Training and Ministry Opportunities
I thank God for this opportunity that He has given me. I am looking forward to the work that is in store for the future. We will be starting a couple of clubs in the local public schools to introduce kids to God, Christ, and the Church. So, we are hoping that this will bring more families into our church.
We are also starting a parent’s small group to share our struggles, to know that we are not alone in them, and to learn the Biblical way to parent. Our goal is to get the church as a whole, and parents, in particular, to see that discipleship starts at home. The church is here to partner with them and not just do the discipling for them.
We offer instruction in all facets of our ministry. From beginning to end, we are building a cohesive program to focus on making disciples who will make disciples.
Learn about ordination at Christian Leaders Alliance.