Remember our A3 formula...
Christlike leaders + the A3 process + the right time + the right place
= Changing the few who change the many...
Remember our A3 formula: Christlike leaders + the A3 process + the right time + the right place = Changing the few who change the many. So...
What do you mean by the 'Right Place'?
There are actually a few different facets to the phrase "the right place"...
1. The right place for each retreat.
Holding an event in the right venue or location can either make it or break it. Think about weddings, board meetings, small groups, concerts, and sporting events. Each is held at certain types of venues and they are not necessarily interchangeable. What makes for a good wedding venue would likely not make it conducive for a good board meeting, and so on.
The same goes for a retreat, including an A3 leader development retreat. There are many potential distractions that tug at the participants. For example, if the retreat is held at the church of one of the participants, they will be interrupted by their regular responsibilities and by their co-workers' questions. If it's held in the locality where many participants live and work, they will be distracted by last-minute appointments and family issues. If the retreat is held in the main part of the city, there might be too many distractions drawing members away for this or for that.
On the other hand, if we hold the A3 retreat away from these potential distractions, then each participant can be physically and emotionally present for each other. So we usually hold retreats at camps or retreat centers away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and ministry. This kind of setting promotes a setting aside of normal work and responsibilities for a deeper work that the Spirit wants to accomplish in the leaders and the group.
It's often when we set aside the noise for the quiet, the activity for the rest, the busyness for reflection, the work for a sabbath... that's when God does a deeper work within us. This is the place where we are transformed.
In addition, A3 cohorts usually leverage the time away to "play together." Some play soccer or cricket or volleyball or go swimming together. Most leaders are not afforded time to play. This is one of the differences about A3 that strikes many leaders, "Wow, you actually get to play with each other?" This recreation re-creates each leader, bringing much-needed refreshment to their souls and bodies. Therefore, we need to find a venue that allows our leaders to play during their retreat.
A separate facet of place is cost of the venue. If we held our training events at expensive hotels, the program would not be sustainable without an influx of funding from A3. We want each locality to be able to sustain the costs of the program. Five star hotels are not sustainable; low-cost retreat centers are much more realistic.
SPECIAL PLACE NEEDED FOR MARRIAGE & FAMILY MODULE
One of the eight retreats is a special one where spouses and children are included. Each couple works on their relationship, as well as get further equipped for the task of parenting. Indeed a good leader must learn how to value his marriage and family as ministry. This is sometimes challenging for our leaders.
So this Marriage & Family module is crucial at recalibrating the right perspective about the priority they give their spouse and children. Because of the larger group, we must find the right accommodations to support this kind of retreat. It's usually at a larger camp where each family would get their own room rather than what is needed for a typical A3 leader retreat where two leaders room together.
2. The right place in the world or country or sphere.
WHERE IS THE STRATEGIC PLACE TO FOCUS?
Part of the challenge in leader development is knowing where to focus:
- In a country with 1.5 billion people, it seems like leaders would have a lot of needs. Knowing where to expand and where to focus is pretty essential so we don't get spread too thin. So in a large country, we might have regional focus with multiple cohorts running simultaneously, whereas smaller countries might have one cohort operating nationally.
- In a country with half the population living in the cities and half in the provincial countryside, we need to decide where we are going to focus the energy of the next cohort. The right place for the current cohort might be the capital city, but the focus of the next one might be the rural countryside.
- When we launched A3.business in 2015, taking our leader development program for pastors and church leaders, into the business sector, we saw it as the right place for A3. It seemed a good place to invest, taking what we've learned through nearly five decades of developing leaders for the church. And now we are developing marketplace leaders in four countries with a growing waiting list.
- We are trying not to be bound by geography, but following various Macedonian calls instead. A current example of this is The Last Mile, as it pushes us a little beyond the boundaries of Asia. But we will explore these potential areas for expansion to see if they are strategic and what God is calling us toward.
- And we are getting invitations from other spheres of societal influence. Could we also explore working in additional sectors?
These are all issues of place. We are constantly asking ourselves where is the RIGHT PLACE?
A3 is about guiding Christ-centered leaders through the A3 process at the right time and place for God-change to happen, producing Kingdom momentum. We have a proven process to dramatically increase the effectiveness of leaders who then change their countries and their continents for Christ. And so we protect the essential aspects of our make-up.
And by doing so, we sustain change through a proven process that takes the region’s most promising leaders and equips them to have a disproportionately significant impact in their countries, cultures and continents with Spirit-led change to God's glory.
- What does it mean that A3 changes the few who change the many?
- Who are the leaders A3 selects?
- What is the A3 process?
- When is the right time?
- Where is the right place?
Image credit: Photo by Espen Bierud on Unsplash