Spiritual Leadership And Ministry Development – SLAMD

leadership training

Darlene Cunningham

The Spiritual Leadership And Ministry Development, or SLAMD, seminar is being held this summer at Port YWAM Kona for the third time. The four-week program will take place Aug. 1-26. Participants will be taught time-tested principles, gain insight from missionary and ministry veterans and learn from both the mistakes and successes of those who have led others for years.

YWAM Ships Kona director Brett Curtis said he especially hopes young missionaries will enroll in SLAMD.

“Most of us starting off in this mission are young. Within just a year or two we’re being asked to lead people on outreach. It’s a scary place to be,” Curtis said.

leadership training

Brett Curtis

“This is a great course to get some leadership tools in your tool belt before stepping into that role.”

The goal of SLAMD is to help participants understand leadership as a way of life, rather than in terms of a title. Speakers do that by emphasizing the example of Jesus. SLAMD also aims to help those in Christian ministry avoid potential hazards that could be a setback to their calling. Sean Murphy and Joanna Mutch, who help provide oversight for the University of the Nations Kona and run Discipleship Training Schools, plan to lead the seminar for the second time.

leadership training

Sean Murphy

Past speakers have included Andy Byrd, co-founder of the evangelistic Circuit Riders ministry; David Hamilton, who has spearheaded numerous projects designed to increase Bible access and literacy; Youth With A Mission co-founder

Darlene Cunningham; and YWAM Ships Kona co-founders Brett and Karen Curtis.

Marita Torpstra, who took part in the seminar last year, said SLAMD is a valuable opportunity to learn from people with decades of ministry experience.

leadership training

Joanna Mutch

“It helps to learn from others and gain from their knowledge,” said Torpstra, 28, of the Netherlands. “Our initial steps in ministry can be way bigger because we’ve learned from the past. It’s our inheritance as missionaries. I think it’s important to learn those lessons.”

Lindsay Angus, 29, also participated in SLAMD last year. She liked that the speakers, in particular Byrd, emphasized the fundamental importance of a leader’s relationship with Jesus.

“Andy talked about our ‘interior vision’ — how we pursue and maintain the simple ambition of being close to Jesus — and how our interior vision is much more important than external ministry goals,” said Angus, of Canada. “The internal vision comes from spending time with

leadership training

Dean Sherman

Jesus and in the Word.”

Kevin Smith, who helps oversee operations and development at Port YWAM, agreed that young leaders will benefit from SLAMD. However, he said anyone — regardless of their stage of life or ministry experience — should consider taking the program.

“I personally think that anytime you can put yourself in a position to learn more about leadership, you should jump at it. I think we’re all leaders to some degree and

the teaching on leadership applies to being a disciple of Christ,” Smith said. “I think it’s applicable to most of what Christ is calling us to as Christians.”

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