Several years ago, during a time in my life when I was under huge stress, had been betrayed by several close friends and members of the staff from the large church where I was the pastor and was trying to figure out what God was going in my life, I became acquainted with the ministry of The Institute of Biblical Leadership. Usually when I had previously been involved with an organization regarding leadership, I was interacting as a colleague or even as a lecturer or an officer. Now, for the first time in my life, I was in need of someone to help me find order in the chaos of my own life and leadership. It was IBL that helped me refocus and regain my footing in what was some of the darkest days of my professional life.
It was the beginning of a relationship that has recently included an opportunity to join the Board of Directors. Ironically, (or perhaps, providentially) it is located in the same tiny mountain community where we have a family retreat. Lake Lure, North Carolina is located in the foothills and first mountains of the Blue Ridge chain near Asheville and Hendersonville. It’s “old” North Carolina and sits along side a beautiful and historic lake. It is there that leaders from all over the world have visited to unload some of their baggage, re-energize in a beautiful setting and receive Godly counsel from IBL Founder, Dr. Russ Lloyd and Executive Director, Dr. David Phalen.
But coaching and counseling are just the beginning of what IBL does. In addition, they train church lay leaders on how a church should be structured with Biblical Leadership. (A service, had I utilized it when I was a Lead/Senior Pastor, would have saved me hours of aggravation and problems.) Internationally, they train national pastors around the world. The produce training materials for local churches and similar ministries. They do crisis intervention with people in the ministry who have experienced failures or struggle with weaknesses. Finally, the provide consulting for churches seeking to make internal changes in leadership or organizational structure, including those who are in interim situations and without pastoral leadership.
IBL fills in gaps that are not not being filled anywhere else or by few other organizations and they do it with a servant’s heart and a Biblical foundation. They are supported by churches and individuals who understand the need for Biblical leadership and structure in the local church and ministry organizations and who also know that many times pastors have no one to whom they can turn with confidence that they will receive Biblical support while acknowledging the unique pressures and circumstances around being a ministry leader.
So as my own personal ministry and journey have taken multiple unexpected turns in the last four or five years, the leadership IBL have been counselors, mentors and now colleagues. I look forward to investing in a ministry that stood in the gap for me on a personal and professional level and which provides support and encouragement for ministry leaders at every level. From someone who felt like no one was or could understand what was happening in his life at the time, having the opportunity to meet leaders like Dr. Lloyd and Dr. Phalen was just what I needed as they allowed me to vent, question, challenge and wonder. In response they listened, counseled, admonished and ministered. I want to help them meet and be available to others who might just need that support.
If you are a lay leader seeking information, training or coaching for your church as they form or search for a pastor, if you are a pastor who is in a time of stress, transition or even rebuilding, if you need someone to come and train your team and make them function more Biblically and effectively or if you are looking for a ministry that is worthy of your support, prayers and even gifts during the difficult days of this economic recession, The Institute of Biblical Leadership should be ministry you consider. Take some time and visit their website. If you have any questions, contact me at DLBurrell@Liberty.edu. You’ll be glad that you did!
I’m honored to now be part of the IBL team. Plan on hearing more about this ministry in the days to come on this site.