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Leading With Emotional Maturity

October 17, 2016 @ 2:00 pm - October 20, 2016 @ 3:00 pm

| Free

Begins Monday lunchtime, ends Thursday lunchtime

This three-day training course is designed to enhance participants’ capacity to offer mature leadership within their churches. It draws on the insights of Murray Bowen’s Family Systems Theory, and is a successor to the well-received course Church Leadership & Family Systems, which Bridge Builders offered for several years. Christian leaders are welcome to apply, regardless of whether they have attended any previous Bridge Builders course.

A way of looking at human relationships

Family Systems Theory is a key element of the course content. This theory, pioneered by Dr Murray Bowen, holds that every family should be viewed as a discrete emotional unit, and that the system of relationships within a family is affected by two key factors:  the level of anxiety within the system and the level of “differentiation” of family members. From these ideas, Bowen developed a framework for thinking about human relationships that has implications for all aspects of life. It has important resonances with Jesus’ teaching about worry, his solid sense of who he was in relation others, and his ministry being rooted in his relationship with his Father.

The course also explores some of Edwin Friedman’s ideas on the challenges facing church leaders today. Friedman’s book, Generation to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue, was the first to make Family Systems Theory accessible as a tool for understanding relationships in congregations. Its key insight is that families and congregations have much in common as relationship-systems. Friedman has pointed to a rising level of anxiety in society, and the impact it is having on families. This is likely to affect the church with increasing intensity in the years ahead. We can expect heightened pressures in congregations and increased demands upon on leaders. It is therefore vital that leaders step back occasionally from the fray and learn to manage themselves in a calmer, more intentional way.

A way of facing challenges

Leading With Emotional Maturity provides a safe forum for processing challenging situations in ministry. There is a mixture of presentation, exploration of basic concepts, facilitated small group work, and opportunities for personal reflection in the light of new learning. The input includes a filmed presentation by Friedman – who is an engaging speaker. Group work focuses first on understanding relationships in your own family of origin, and then on relationships in your ministry context, giving each person feedback and coaching. Each day will open with prayer and worship.


Colin Patterson is Assistant Director of Bridge Builders, and an Anglican priest.  He has worked as a training officer for the Diocese of Durham, is an experienced adult educator, and is author of the Grove booklet How to Learn Through Conflict, and a contributor to 101 Great Ideas for Growing Healthy Churches.

Liz Holdsworth is Co-Ministry Partnership Development Officer in the Anglican Diocese of Peterborough, and a Bridge Builders Associate Trainer.  She is an experienced adult educator, and in her current role develops and delivers training courses with a focus on supporting lay and ordained leaders working together.

Meals and Accomodation

The course is residential, with accommodation provided from Monday evening to Wednesday evening, and with meals provided each day from Monday lunchtime until Thursday lunchtime, of breakfast, lunch and evening meal, in single room accommodation at the Felden Lodge Conference Centre, Hemel Hempstead.

Course Timings

Monday 17 October: arrive for lunch at 1:00pm; 2:00-6:00pm; 7:30-9:00pm

Tuesday 18 October: 9:00am-1:00pm, 3:30-6:00pm, 7:30-9:00pm

Wednesday 19 October: 9:00am-6:00pm

Thursday 20 October: 9:00am-1:00pm; depart after lunch (2:00pm)

Cost & Application

The standard cost for the course is £515.  A special “early bird” discount of £50 is available if booking by 25 July 2016, giving a reduced price of £465.  If you are on a very low income, or no income, then please contact us about applying for a discount.  Where necessary, precedence is given to applicants sponsored by their church or organisation, and who may use the training for its benefit, or to enhance their own ministry. A training manual is included in the fee..

Spaces are limited to a maximum of 16, so do apply early, as our courses are regularly over-subscribed.


To apply, add a ticket to your cart below below. Applications remain provisional until Bridge Builders has received a deposit of £100. The balance of the fee is due eight weeks before the start of the course (i.e. by 22 August 2016). Please see our terms and conditions.

If no more places are available and you would like to be added to a waiting list, please contact the office on 020 8883 3033 or email bb@bbministries.org.uk.

Please note: If a third party (eg. Diocese) is paying for your ticket, please book using your own name and contact details. Select direct bank transfer as the payment option and you will receive an order confirmation containing bank details. You can either pay directly, or forward the order confirmation to the third party for payment.


October 17, 2016 @ 2:00 pm
October 20, 2016 @ 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Felden Lodge Training and Conference Centre
Felden Lodge
Hemel Hempstead, HP3 0BL United Kingdom
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Leading With Emotional Maturity - October 2016
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