What Makes A3 Distinctive?
The unique contribution of A3 can be understood by a brief description of organizational hallmarks.
Training Model Comparisons
The A3 leadership development model is most easily understood by seeing it in comparison to three standard models for training:
- The Traditional Residential Model, such as a Bible school or seminary can provide a fine caliber of foundational training for a leader. However, it necessitates an extended time away from one's ministry context. It is strongest in the transfer of information, but has limitations in terms of spiritual formation and the development of practical skills for leadership.
- The Seminar Model is typically strongest in terms of providing new information and inspiration. The weakness of training in this setting is that there is limited capacity for providing ongoing support for the leader's growth, and for the implementation of new ideas.
- Distance Learning is a useful model to enable leaders to continue to study even though they may not be able to travel to attend a residential college or seminars. Leaders who are highly motivated self-starters benefit most from this type of training. By definition, this model is seldom able to factor in the opportunity for interaction with peers or with a mentor.
Focus on Transformation
A3 training focuses on a process of transformation rather than on an event for inspiration. As a result these leaders will have time for instruction, experimentation, reflection, evaluation, and relationship building.
Leaders with Potential Trained by Seasoned Leaders
The training is provided for exceptional emerging leaders by experienced senior leaders who are seasoned practitioners. The participants and trainers alike are carefully selected. It is the conviction of A3 that leaders are best developed by leaders, not by theorists alone.
The training is designed to bring about a process of change that is accompanied by a commitment to implementation. This focus is intended to prevent the training experience from being a mere academic exercise. Central to this process is the life-on-life impact of the mentor on the pastor/leader. This mentoring is guided by the A3 national director in partnership with the country resource coordinator, along with the guests faculty who come to lecture and present case studies.
Key Church Leaders Included
A3 also involves the key leaders in a church so pastors are not learning in isolation of those they are leading. This endorsement by key church leaders at the beginning of the process increases their sense of ownership of the vision and strategy that is articulated as their pastor/leader moves through the program.