We've had some great feedback from groups who've run SENT so we've rounded up our top tips to help you run it yourself.

1: Make sure the whole church is behind it

One of the participants told his church leader (who had personally invited him to join the course) that he felt this was the first time the church body had acknowledged the value and importance of the leadership role he held at work. Others said that they probably wouldn’t have volunteered to join the course, as they didn’t consider themselves to be leaders’. It was really important that someone, for example a church leader or another public leader, recognised their leadership and personally invited them to take part. 

Groups run jointly by the church leader and a public leader have a really powerful time together and getting your whole church family to be praying for the course even if they’re not on it is a great way to really support your public leaders.

2: Get all your public leaders involved. 

SENT is for everyone! Groups include those in their 20s and 30s and more experienced senior leaders, all of whom found it valuable. The mixture of video lecture, discussion questions, interview clips, interactive activities and prayer meant that people with different learning styles all found something they connected with. One pilot group met over breakfast, another had an evening deal together, others met after dinner; some met monthly, some weekly, and some fortnightly depending on what suited the group.

3: Create a SENT community 

The community of the groups proved to be a really important part of the success of the course. Participants enjoyed learning alongside and from others in their community as well as from the course materials. This isparticularly true in groups that span different sectors, as they were able to share leadership insights and experiences that hadn’t occurred to people in other industries.

Messaging apps are a great way for the groups to keep in touch, exchange thoughts on the post-meeting activities, and pray for each other. This is particularly important if the group is only meeting once a month, as it’s easy for other things to get in the way in a busy life. Regular communication between group members keeps everyone interested and invested.

4: Be ready for what comes next

SENT is only the first step — most of the groups spent time in the final session talking about what’s next?’. They discussed the need for continued moral and prayer support and the possibility of mentoring. One church leader is considering repeating the course with others in the church and developing a larger network’ to bring different groups together.

SENT is designed for churches to use with small groups of public leaders in order to think, discuss and pray about what it means to be a Christian public leaders. If you’ve got public leaders who might value increased support, why not take a look at the Public Leader course which runs in Northern Ireland, Scotland and England.

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