Leadership Journeys are an exciting new element of Briarwood programming. Envisioned to include domestic as well as international travel opportunities, the Journeys will focus on leadership themes from community transformation to movement building.
Briarwood Leadership Journeys are not mission trips. While they can be understood as pilgrimages, their main focus is on building relationships effectively and listening carefully. We are not focused primarily on going somewhere to do something for somebody else. Instead, we are informed by the Lutheran World Federation’s vision of Accompaniment where we walk alongside companions, mutually listening to and learning from one another as we go.
Context is essential for effective leadership. As we consider contemporary problems, traveling into other contexts provides opportunities for listening and learning from other leaders about how they interpreted the needs of their communities and provided effective leadership toward change. Learning about the context of early Christianity, including the dynamics of the Roman Empire, provides new insights into how the movement took shape and persisted, eventually spreading to the ends of the earth.
Briarwood Leadership Journeys aim to bring what we learn and experience back into the congregations and communities of the Northern Texas–Northern Louisiana Synod. Each trip will be characterized by pre-education and post-travel debriefing and application. What we learn and experience is not for us alone, but for all of our communities together.