Hundreds of leaders from around the South Pacific Division (SPD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and beyond attended an online “Leadership Essentials” program, July 13-16, 2021. Leaders included pastors, educators, and conference and mission personnel, along with representatives from Adventist Aged Care, Adventist HealthCare, Adventist Media, Pacific Adventist University, Sonoma College, and other entities. Nearly 400 leaders joined the online program each day from around the SPD and other divisions.
Leadership Essentials was part of the SPD Administrators Council and included two workshops each day. Facilitators were Erich Baumgartner, director of the Adventist Church’s Global Leadership Institute (GLI); GLI associate director Randy Siebold; and Duane Vickery, Danny O’Neill, and Tyrone Adamson, from Australia’s leadership training company ETM Perspectives.
Topics included God’s message for leaders — staying connected to the Holy Spirit, strategic leadership, innovation, and creative thinking. Other topics were problem-solving frameworks, managing cross-cultural conflict, and mentoring the next generation.
“The purpose was to gather as many leaders as possible together at the beginning of the new quinquennium,” Dean Banks, SPD leadership and professional development manager, said. “[We wanted] to share our strategic leadership direction and conduct a series of workshops around these key areas of strategic leadership focus.”
“From an SPD leadership perspective, there’s a recognition that to achieve our mission, we need an enterprise mindset and the skills to influence and execute our strategy rapidly. This is done through modeling the way and enabling those we lead to execute effectively.”
Greater Sydney Conference work health and safety coordinator Roger Fairfax was among the attendees. “Thanks so much for your help in this series of talks on leadership,” he said. “Very inspiring and thought-provoking with practical examples for going forward.”
Cook Islands pastor Sarah Aratai also found the workshops beneficial: “I have been blessed with the leadership workshop on Zoom these past days. I needed this leadership workshop. I have moved to outer islands, and I have an issue of leadership here not having mission focus; we [are] just doing church.”
Banks said leaders have planned several leadership initiatives, including a pilot monthly leadership roundtable starting in September.
“We’re also partnering in September with the recently formed Global Leadership Institute with an online four-day experiential leadership program designed for up to 100 leaders across the South Pacific where they apply learning to simulations and real-time problem solving,” he said.