Twenty-nine leaders within The Wesleyan Church recently attended the Hero Maker Course with Dave Ferguson of Exponential.
A six-week course held in September and October, the Hero Maker course is a follow-up to this year’s Exponential held in Orlando. Ed Love, director of Church Multiplication for The Wesleyan Church, said Exponential initiated the six-week course happening. Exponential is a “growing community of leaders committed to accelerating the multiplication of healthy, reproducing faith communities.”
“The Exponential team came to us and asked us if we wanted to pilot this new course learning format,” said Love. “And we said yes!”
The Hero Maker course is based on the celebrated book, Hero Maker: Five Essential Practices For Leaders To Multiply Leaders, by Dave Ferguson and Warren Bird. The six-week course was taught by Ferguson, lead pastor of Community Christian Church, a multi-site missional community with locations across Chicagoland. Ferguson is also the visionary of NewThing, a church planting network with over 1,600 churches, and president of the Exponential Conference.
Rev. Nestor Gudino, lead pastor at La Roca Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, attended the online course and found it highly beneficial to interact with fellow church planters. Gudino said he learned about the “importance of letting others shine” in the weeks of training.
“I must be the one that pushes the other leaders to serve in their full potential. I have always been used to everyone giving me credit for the achievements of our church, but God showed me that he has made me a pastor to make others the heroes,” said Gudino. He is already witnessing how God is using what he learned to impact others at La Roca.
“We have recruited 20 new students for FLAMA,” said Gudino. (FLAMA is Latin American Fraternity of Alternative Ministerial Training, an academic program that offers ministry ordination classes in Spanish for credentialing in The Wesleyan Church.) “I am working with each one, so they can discover the great potential they have. They are the future church planters, youth pastors, teachers, children’s pastors, etc.”
Curtis Cecil, executive pastor at Calvary Wesleyan Church in Harrington, Delaware, also participated.
“I was reminded that we are not seeking to build our own churches,” he said. “That was what was taught for years in the church growth movement — build your own church. The concept of the church growth movement was all about building your own local church, not about building the kingdom of God.”
Cecil also said the course challenged him to lead a deeper prayer life.
“We focus too often on systems and leadership principles and not enough on the power of the Spirit to work,” he said.
“Watching leaders shift from being the hero to becoming a hero-maker is awe-inspiring,” said Love. “Leaders who are passionate about being a hero-maker is the primary mentality behind every multiplication movement.”
According to Ferguson, The Wesleyan Church is seen as an early adopter amongst denominations in applying multiplying and movement-making principles.
“As the president of Exponential, the largest church planting conference in the western part of the world, we work with every major denomination and church planting network,” said Ferguson. “No other denomination has shown the interest and passion for multiplying disciples and churches like the Wesleyan denomination. I believe Wesleyans have the unique opportunity to set the pace for other denominations in North America and thus change the spiritual landscape of our continent.”
Planning for the next Hero Maker course is in the works.