God bless you!
We as a Staff and Board are blessed to share this short summary of a leadership meeting event that took place the weekend of March 23rd-25th, 2018. During this weekend—which included three key teachings, countless honest conversations, and much future-planning—the leadership team of STF pulled together a small group of people from the broader community for their input and alignment on STF’s purpose and services. The desired outcome was that, through face-to-face engagement with these people, that they and the broader community they impact would be able to more effectively flourish in fulfilling individual ministries, glorifying God, edifying the Body of Christ, growing, and eventually enjoying the Bema even more.
In this process, we all agreed to operate under a series of biblical “norms” in our personal and interpersonal conduct. These norms are:
Be Proactive: Take action first, don’t wait for others (Matt. 22:37; 1 John 5:3)
Courage: Courageous conversations – Tell your truth productively (Eph. 4:15)
Integrity: Keep your word (1 John 2:5)
Humility: If you break your word, own it, apologize and improve (Eph. 4:2)
Empathy: Listen empathically to the end that the other person feels heard (Matt. 2:39)
Accountability: Hold yourself and others accountable to commitments
Safety: Create an environment where people feel safe to speak their truth
Decision Making: Full hearing. If a majority consensus exists, go forward; if not, then the leader makes the call. Once the decision is made, speak and act as one.
Conflict Resolution: If you have a problem with another person, it is your problem. Confront the person; don’t talk to others about them. Resolve by telling the truth and listening empathically. (Matt. 18:19)
Accountability: If a team member consistently breaks the norms, they cannot be a member of the team. (Prov. 6:19)
Over the course of the weekend, we gained clarity through discussing STF’s legacy (where we came from), current state (where we are now), and desired state (where we are going and want to go). Once this was established, people were able to better articulate why they first came to STF and why they have stayed. Among the reasons people came were for the truth, to know and love God, and to fulfill their personal callings and purposes in the Body of Christ; because of deep love for John Schoenheit and the work he is doing; to be in relationship with other believers; because of a sense of loyalty; and because there didn’t need to be a hierarchy.
People also discussed their greatest hopes for STF’s future, including that we would continue to support the people we are feeding so that they grow up and connect; to develop the next generation of researchers; to broaden the outreach and widely market the REV; to do the best we can in our functions in the Body of Christ; to ensure we structure the community so that there is a next generation of STF; and to find new and better ways to provide valuable resources for other ministries.
As for the community’s hopes for the future as it pertained to them personally, there were many who expressed a desire to find their individual calling and fulfill it, to be in relationship with STF and each other, to create active and fruitful fellowships, to find more ways to take care of people and let them know we love them, and to provide connection for people to be personally supported and healed. The attendees also weighed in on what they felt were the vital things they could do to support one another, which included collecting data regarding each other’s functions in the Body of Christ; creating an online connection calendar; providing hospitality to fellow believers who are visiting/passing through their areas; becoming more connected on social media; hosting online leadership meetings; and overall staying more connected by finding ways to better support the online fellowship network, holding each other accountable, and being available.
To close out the weekend, the STF Leadership Team polled the community on ways that we could better support them in the field. We received feedback that included creating and providing a database list so the community knows who is there and can stay connected; developing biblical material for people of all ages; maintaining use of the norms listed above in interactions with the community; producing more hard-copy and physical products; providing links to valuable resources, other blogs, and other groups; and creating Online Fellowship tutorials to help people learn how to connect with one another from their individual areas.
After listening and engaging with the community leaders in a broader group, small groups, and individually over the weekend, it became clear to them and to us that the function of STF as a ministry is to research the Word, teach it, and thus serve the bread of life to believers, ministers, churches, and the world at large. Rooted in this clarity, STF has constructed a 90-day plan to strategize growth and outreach with the core team and input from the field, with a vision to have another leadership meeting in June where the maturing of the plan will be discussed with the community again. We look forward to updating all of you with even more clarity and future plans once this meeting takes place.
If you have any questions regarding these events, please email us at STF@STFonline.org, and we will be happy to address them.
With the love of Christ,
The STF Leadership Team