Oceania Leadership Summit

Beautiful view from Mt. Tamborine

Module 2 of our Emerging Leaders Initiative was held in September at Mt Tamborine in Brisbane.

Our ELI team made up of Nathan, Nani and Sai (coach) got to present our research project and I got to share about ministry so far in Namaka.

Sharing about ministry in Namaka.

We had two main streams at the Leadership Summit. The first one was for senior staff/leaders, their speaker was Gregg Hinzelman who spoke on developing vision and engaging donors. I was glad I could sit in on most of their sessions. The second was the ELI and our main speaker was Holly Sheldon. Holly spoke on “leading larger” and how that drove her to begin a ministry now known as Bridges International.

Nani leading worship
DMPD team made up of Joey, Ice and Biu giving their presentation
Group prayer
Bob Whitaker sharing on Romans 8:31-32 – God is for you

Main takeaway:

There were quite a few but this one really summed most of it up.


  • Pray
    • James 4 says that we don’t have because we don’t ask
    • Pray for God to give you God-sized vision
    • Pray for the World – Ps. 2:8
    • Pray for labourers – Matt. 9:37-38
  • Look
    • Jesus intentionally looked around, saw the need and used that as inspiration to implore his disciples to beg God for reinforcements
    • Look at the spiritual aspect of current events
    • Look to God’s heart for the world through scripture from Genesis through Revelation
  • Educate
    • Work hard at developing vision
    • Educate yourself about the area you are trying to impact
    • Utilise online resources
    • Spend time with visionaries and people who are stepping out in faith
    • Learn missionary facts
  • Dream
    • Vision is simply trusting God for the possibilities of the future and talk about it
  • Give
    • Our hearts tend to follow our wallets
    • Support nationals – get their prayer letters
  • Go
    • Join a mission project
  • Talk
    • Tell stories about missions experiences
    • Use other peoples stories
    • Impart vision into all aspects of your ministry

ELI Research Project

Here’s just a brief overview of our ELI research project. Our focus in on reviewing the training material currently used at conferences in the Pacific Island nations.

*We have a video that we presented in Australia but we’re still working on recording the audio for that but it’ll be up soon.


  • We conducted online surveys with staff and students
  • Interviews with long serving staff
  • Observational trials of staff teaching our current material to students and afterwards giving their feedback on what they thought.
  • This then led us to review the training material we’re using and also material from neighbouring Cru locations such as the US, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and even Papua New Guinea.
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We looked at material from the US, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and PNG.


Some of the challenges that we faced during our data collection process were

  • that we had a small pool of students that responded; compared to the actual number that were sent evaluation forms post-conference.
  • In addition, their responses may have been too kind and not elaborate enough to give us an accurate look at the data.
  • Another obstacle we faced was our team location and schedules. A new baby, settling down and getting married and new campus responsibilities too. These were the major ones we faced.

Key Findings

When we were able to meet we found out a lot of things from the data we collected. We found that given the choice, the top three topics of interest for both students and staff were:

  1. How to study the Bible (52%)
  2. The Spirit filled life (43.5%)
  3. Making Disciples and Prayer (33.3%)

We also discovered that students and staff both agreed that the training was lengthy.

However, our biggest finding was that there was a significant contrast between student and staff views with regards to:

  • Comprehension
  • Practicality
  • Transferability
  • Interaction
  • Overall satisfaction of the training
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This meant that our training greatly relied on the trainer and how they delivered the material.

So, there is now a change in focus of our project. It’s no longer the content but the layout and delivery of the material.


As we navigate our way through these obstacles and key findings we’ve established some possible solutions to meet these needs by firstly simplifying the training material and focusing more on the format of the training.

These solutions will explore incorporating active learning activities such as;

  • Culturally adapted case-base problem solving which is relevant and relatable to Pacific Islanders.
  • Collaborative learning where students are engaged in group activities.
  • Personal reflection and journaling times
  • Giving staff the opportunity to practice coaching techniques and how to better facilitate group discussions.
Cone of learning.  Research has shown that kinaesthetic learning can help students retain up to 90% of information.

Our hope is then to come up with a framework for future material formatting one level training as a sample next year and trialing it in 2020.

Emerging Leaders Initiative

The Emerging Leaders track is a two-year leadership training program which gives participants the opportunity to work with emerging leaders from across the region and a chance to receive coaching from experienced leaders in ministry. 

The training is made up of four modules, two in each year of the course. Our first module was a week-long training held at Long Bay, Auckland.

Mark Rutter our main speaker (US Director of Leadership Development and HR) spoke on Cru’s Leadership Framework. The framework is comprised of six elements: Heart, Relationships, Roles, Responsibilities, Results and an undergirding foundation of Stewardship.

My main takeaway: Invest in your team

“A man’s greatest talents are not in how much he has been able to do alone, but how effective he has been in getting others to work with him. A good leader leads men; a great leader trains leaders.” 

Henrietta Mears
  • Prepare and equip the team to pursue the mission
  • Ensure the right person is doing the right job
  • Create an environment for growth
  • Develop individuals

Idea: Go through a book with the team and have weekly book discussions to not only foster growth but also motivate one another. A few of the books that we might begin with for “win” phase at the beginning of the semester are:

  • Fireseeds of Spiritual Awakening by Dan Hayes
  • The Finishers by Roger Hershey
  • The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman
  • Everyone, Everywhere; Glimpses of God’s Global Work Through People Like You by Erick Schenkel

Any other recommendations?