Connecting the mission theme of biblical storytelling, the leadership team for the DS training began and ended our sessions by telling stories from the Gospel of John. Marilyn told John 15 to remind the twelve district superintendents the importance of maintaining deep prayer lives. Roger used John 13 to highlight that power and authority should be used in ways that honor the servant leader example of Jesus. Chad utilized John 21 to emphasize the necessity of equipping the church for faithful discipleship. Additional we discussed a biblical foundation for various supervisory behaviors and ways to view supervision as ministry.
A point of pride for the Methodist Mission in Cambodia is that now all district superintendents are native Cambodians. Five of them were newly appointed at the annual meeting (annual conference) September 1. All have 10-15 years experience as pastors and are passionate about ministry.
As the DSs reported the challenges they face, we heard themes similar to those of superintendents in the US. Yet clearly, a new church in a culture where 50% of the population is 15 or under presents some unique opportunities.
None of our training sessions would even be possible without the gifts of translation provided by Tola and Tara who travel with us. This talented, dedicated, hard-working young couple have been generous teachers who have helped us connect with the people here.