I’m writing this post from Medias, Romania while staffing for the third time Romania’s B2b.
Before moving to Switzerland last year, I was serving with YWAM in Romania. It’s great to be back with friends who are a little like family – to continue to work together helping equip young leaders who are mostly from Romania. There are 23 students from all over Romania, many of whom are working in local churches or recently joined YWAM to be full-time staff.
What is B2B?
B2b is a one-week school developed by Stephen Mayers and Barry Austin back in the late 1990’s. They saw the need not only develop leaders but also equip new leaders, so they get the best start in their leadership journey. I did my B2b in 2000 – which feels like a lifetime ago. But I still remember one afternoon walking around the garden, praying and trying to accept the fact that God had called me to be a leader. Therefore I am a leader. Even if at times, I’m leading myself. I didn’t have the confidence to speak this out loud at the start – but it was a hope and a dream, to do what God was calling me to, would mean I’d have to lead others. Having experienced leaders be the staff for this school, seeing how they worked together, hear their stories and model what good leadership looks like, was a revelation. It’s hard to imagine what team leadership looks like if you’ve only seen one main leader do most things or clearly remember just what poor leadership can be.
Each day we take a different aspect of leadership, from Self to Servant, Strategic to Shared and Spiritual leadership. It’s mainly worship/ prayer and teaching in the mornings, with workshops and process groups in the afternoon. As a staff team, we take turns to team-teach (two people teaching one session together); lead the day, facilitate the workshops and discussions as well as serve the breakfast and coffee breaks.
Unity in diversity
As a staff team, we’re from different countries, in our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50’s. We serve in various locations in Romania and outside (like me). Some have been in missions for a few years, other’s over 25 years. We want to model how to serve, honour, encourage and be comfortable in who we are while also being leaders with different personalities, giftings, styles and backgrounds. Can so many differences really work together well? Yes, especially with God’s help. I love how YWAM has values of doing first then teach, function in teams, hearing God’s voice, be servant-hearted and fourteen others. They are our DNA. What does leading look like if you’re from ten different nations and leading anything from a small group to a missions team or even a church?
Because we love and respect one another, recognise each of our strengths and weakness. We don’t see age or number of years of experience as anything other than variety and a wealth of resources of approaches and ideas to bring the teaching content to life in a relevant way. There is a core team to oversee the big picture and logistics of the school. But we trust one another to speak up, do what they said they would do to a high standard and add value so together we work with our strengths and cover our weakness’.
Another vital help is that we value communication. We talk to one another regularly, meet as a whole team every morning to share feedback from the previous day and co-ordinate who’s doing what in each part of the day. We pray for one another and our students, making sure God is at the centre and we’re leaving space for Him to change things according to His ideas for the day.
Highlights from the week
Seeing all the participants differences at the start of the week is a little daunting. Especially since this B2b had a lot more from outside YWAM. How would they handle being part of a YWAM school without really knowing who we are? (As we recognise our normal, could be very different from what they are used to). Above all, we trust and know God – He knows what He’s doing and is going to help everyone individually and as a group get the most out of the week. He is going to show up, speak to them, inspire them and highlight the things He wants them to apply to not only their lives but the situations they are leading at home.
God didn’t disappoint any of us this week. Some who came from a conservative background took steps of faith in receiving His Holy Spirit, encouraging others with words from Him. Others were challenged by some of the new perspectives of leadership. How they felt encouraged to change some of their habits to make more space for God or those they’re leading to step up.
One big eye-opener for many was a simple game. Each person had a label stuck to their forehead. It was how they were to treat this person during the exercise. Examples of these are – ignore me, listen to me, agree with me, always disagree with me… Some people found it frustrating that their good ideas weren’t being heard, others were surprised at the attention they received, some gave up. But we all realised that we do have particular bias’ or labels that we’ve put on others that aren’t how God sees them. It was hard for some to treat others in ways they knew hurt them. Others had de-ja-vu moments of how either they’ve been treated or how others have struggled.
No-one likes to be treated unfairly or ignored. We all need to take time to look at our actions and reactions to others and ask God to help us see what’s going on and what needs to change to bring the best out of everyone we’re leading/ working with.
The friendships formed during this week are one of the big things you see continue after B2b. Networking, supporting your new friends as they step out to see new ministries and visions become a reality. Some want to see a 2nd level B2b start so they can come again, but that’s still in the theory processing stage.
I love to see a transformation in peoples lives, it’s why I came back into YWAM, why I’m setting up this website as another way to connect but also why I’m so excited to start the B2b in Switzerland this August. I’m praying it will be able to happen because it’s later in the year. I have faith in God’s timing and He knows how it’s all going to work out.
If you’d like to know more about b2b (esp the Swiss one), please check out our webpage on YWAM Burtigny. Or drop me an email. I’d love to hear from you.
this picture is of B2b Romania 2020