"Can't we just get along?" We recall those words of a young, troubled African American, Rodney King reflecting on the ethnic hatred that fueled riots across America in 1992. SLS, a movement of Christian leaders led by Rev. Richard and Pastor Mary Coleman believes we can, must and shall do better than merely "getting along." Despite persistently failed efforts at conciliation, we know transformation is mandated by Christ and we are committed to pursuing it together.
Addressing dysfunction among groups and communities must begin with addressing dysfunction within and among us as servant leaders. In four decades of ministry, Mary and I have observed growing cynicism, frustration and fatigue among people of faith concerning the "Great Commandment." But the Holy Spirit is calling Christian men and women to reject the status quo of ethnic and denominational exclusion, discover each other as "members of the Body of Christ" and seek the Kingdom of God together.
Ironically, the seed of dysfunction seems to have found fertile soil within the "servant leader model." You have undoubtedly encountered the irony of serving; as demand for work increases, so does the perception that the servant does not need care and support. But, having been in full-time ministry for nearly thirty years, we know those who help also need help. Naturally, those who are most effective are in greatest demand. This truth exposes servant leaders to the vicious cycle of demand - adulation -work - fatigue and need for further positive feed-back, which is typically derived from more work. This syndrome can present all sorts of risks that can undermine the leader's personal and inter-personal well-being within her/his family, congregation, or organization.
Neither bridging the racial or denominational divide is seen as a priority to those who are struggling to keep their own ministries going. This, however, is not the model Christ ordained for ministry. SLS is primarily concerned with preventing this kind of "burn-out" that scars souls and interferes with relationships that foster cooperative, leveraged ministry for evangelizing and serving our children and families. We are committed to a vision where ethnically and denominationally diverse lay-members, clergy, teachers, business leaders, students, government officials and others are rewarded for what they do together for the sake of the Gospel of the Kingdom. In this vision, Jesus is the hero, and we who serve are blessed co-laborers.
With your financial help, we can be empowered to empower many others. Your gift will be leveraged for multiplied impact because we help those who help. SLS has no giving congregation, but is sustained by diverse individuals, churches and groups that believe in our mission. SLS operates prayer ministries, Christian leadership development sessions, referrals, consultations and fellowship opportunities to build a well-resourced community of mutual support. Over the course of a year, SLS:
•Invests 600 hours consulting approximately twenty leaders and couples who, in turn, directly touch about 10,000 believers;
•Convenes Christian leaders in bi-monthly “Honoring Christ in Others” listening and prayer sessions to discover how to connect with other leaders and organizations;
•Convenes “city-wide” prayer gatherings for the Body of Christ;
•Consults with large and small organizations and leaders on matters pertaining to reconciliation;
•Helps couples obtain scholarships for retreats, getaways, and trainings. In 2010, SLS plans to:
•Increase financial support and subsidies for counseling while continuing our menu of services;
•Reestablish the web-based intercessory prayer network;
•Convene expanded, quarterly city-wide, “Body of Christ” prayer gatherings;
•Expand the roster of affordable counselors;
•Increase vision casting through media Our annual budget is $97,500