The Leadership Pipeline at Mission Adelante

Mentoring a New Generation of Leaders

At Mission Adelante, we are blessed by our beautifully diverse and culturally rich community. This means my home now looks a lot like it will when Christ returns. People from a multitude of places join us weekly to worship the Lord, either through our programs or our Latino church.

When I first attended Mission Adelante Latino Church, I was just sixteen years old. What stood out to me most was the diverse worship and the involvement of young leaders in every aspect of the worship time. Young leaders were on stage playing instruments, singing together, and praising God for his love and grace. We sang songs not only in Spanish, but in English and Nepali too! It was beautiful to see, and it encouraged me to worship God loudly and fearlessly.

It has been nine years since I was first introduced to Mission Adelante, and I have learned that the presence of youth in leadership isn’t an accident; it takes intentionality and commitment—and it’s paying off. Since I began attending, families have expanded and grown, so now we see grandparents worshiping alongside their grandchildren, mothers worshiping with their children, and children continuing to find unique ways to praise the Lord. I love seeing families worship together, and I especially love seeing the evident impact it has on their lives. When these families face hardships, their faith remains strong because worshiping together has fortified their faith, both individually and as a familial unit.

Music has always been a great way for young people to express themselves, and this is especially true in worship. Worshiping God through music, whether it be singing or playing an instrument or simply humming along to your favorite hymn, is a transcendent experience. It is a sacred practice that allows us to get closer to God, helps us surpass differences, and unifies us as God’s children.

Not only has our community expanded, but my role has expanded too. In August 2021, I had the opportunity to take on the role of children’s ministry director at Mission Adelante. I quickly learned the importance of guiding and supporting young leaders in our community through our leadership pipeline model. This leadership pipeline is used to raise up leaders in the church, including worship leaders. Its components are offered here as examples of things you may want to consider doing in your own community.

The Leadership Pipeline

Leaders in Training: This program is designed for students ages eight to twelve. Here students begin to learn the fundamental skills of good leadership. We focus on visionary and strategic thinking, empowerment, and servanthood. When these students turn thirteen, they can move to the next level.

The Leadership Training Project: This program focuses on spiritual and character development.

Summer Internship: As students grow in their faith and leadership skills, they can participate in our summer internship, which is a more rigorous program.

Staff Apprenticeship: Upon completion of a summer internship, interns may be asked to join our staff as apprentices, a role in which they will use their leadership skills to plan events, organize programs, and grow deeper in their faith. Once their apprenticeships are completed, students can choose to use their leadership skills in another field or remain on staff and learn more about ministry. It is fascinating to see young leaders from our community grow, learn, and thrive!

My role as the children’s ministry director is to help these students find what they are passionate about, support them in exploring the world around them, and encourage them to draw closer to God. I feel blessed to be able to see how young leaders are making an impact in our neighborhoods. From worshiping God in unique ways to learning new leadership skills to fortifying their faith, these young leaders have not only left their mark on our community, but also in my life.

Carla Flores is a certified elementary education teacher and is currently the children’s ministry director at Mission Adelante in Kansas City, Kansas. She is passionate about her diverse community, empowering children, and social justice.

Reformed Worship 144 © June 2022, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.