Young adults build leadership skills at Oregon Camp Reunion

A favorite tradition of young adults in Oregon returned to camp meeting this year with a trip to Columbia Sportswear headquarters in Portland. Those who participated in this leadership outing at the last in-person camp meeting in 2019 remember spending an afternoon learning leadership strategies and teamwork at Nike headquarters in Hillsboro, IA. Oregon.

Megan Pardee, apparel supply manager for Columbia Sportswear and a member of Crosspoint Adventist Church in Hillsboro, spent the morning discussing Columbia’s unique approach to leadership with young adult leaders. “We have to check our ego at the door here,” she told them. She shared that cross-departmental collaboration was key to Columbia’s leadership and teamwork strategy.

“We seek every opportunity to grow our young adult team and our young adult leaders to this next level,” said Benjamin Lundquist, director of young adult ministry for the Oregon Conference. “[It’s how] we can expand our influence for Jesus and expand our influence for the Kingdom.

Learning from leaders beyond the walls of the church may seem out of the ordinary, but bringing back new and innovative ideas is an essential part of Lundquist’s style of leadership – and there may be more lessons for those between us in the ministry than you think!

After spending over an hour discussing what Columbia’s leadership strategies could teach us about working alongside the church, the strongest lesson centered around collaboration.

At Columbia Sportswear, collaboration means constantly listening to customers and re-evaluating how to better serve them. It also feels like bringing together people and ideas from many different departments to make more informed decisions based on a wide range of perspectives.

We can improve our ministries when we bring people together and share ideas. Making decisions, informed by a range of cultures, ages and roles, allows us to consider some of our blind spots and discover ways to share Jesus with our communities on a deeper level.