‘Crucibles’: a conference for Christian leaders

In February I ran a seminar for Christian leaders at Edenmore Country Club. Three of the leaders who had helped me with my recent research into the experiences that shape Christian leaders allowed me to interview them in front of an audience of over 80 people.

Next month we’re running another version of the event, with a slightly amended team, in County Fermanagh – more easily accessible for leaders living in the West of Ireland.

It will be hosted by Deane Houston and Sam Balmer at the Stables at Derrygore,  Enniskillen and is part of the Stables Seminars for Christian leaders. The cost of the morning will be £20 and includes tea/coffee and a scone on arrival and a sit down lunch at the end of the conference.

Date and Time: Thursday, November 9, from 10 (coffee) until 2.

The morning is aimed especially at Christian leaders and the basic idea is that three seasoned leaders will be talking about their leadership journeys. What was the path into leadership? What have been some of the highlights and challenges along the way? What have they learned and how has God shaped them?

As well as allowing you to glean from the wisdom of the experience of these three leaders, the morning will allow you the opportunity to reflect on where you are in your own leadership journey.

If you’re interested in attending, use the contact section at the bottom of the page and I will send you more information about how to book your place at the event.

The three leaders who will be taking part in the morning are Ken (Fanta) Clarke, Russell Birney, and Roz Stirling.

21768362_1525413160830056_289253881454462859_nBishop Ken Clarke (Fanta) is mission director for SAMS UK. Previously he served as Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagy and before that he served several parishes as well as working in Chile. Those who know him – and have seen the fruit of his leadership – will probably be surprised to hear him describe himself as a reluctant leader! A fundamental lesson in his leadership journey has been that even though leaders are called to be shepherds, ‘one of the big mistakes some of us make as leaders is – we have actually forgotten we are still sheep.’ Ken will also be part of the Enniskillen panel.

21950776_1525410117497027_1200663181432158649_oDr Russell Birney is a former Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and will be one of the three participants in the Enniskillen leaders’ morning. During his years of church leadership, he served congregations in Carrickfergus, Newry and Ballymena. Along the way he learned some powerful lessons about resilience and perseverance in ministry.


Roz Stirling is director of Cleopas – a ministry dedicated to helping folk, through events like retreats and quiet days, to develop their spiritual lives. Previously Roz worked with UCCF and for over 20 years she led the youth and children’s department for the Presbyterian Church. Roz has always been something of a pioneer in her leadership and her vision for Cleopas came about as a result of her own experience. ‘It was that that completely transformed my understanding of how to be an effective leader for the long haul … because of the need for deep inner resources and walk with the Lord. And the fact that most leadership didn’t nurture that.’ Hence her desire to see leaders resourced for their leadership journeys.

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