Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

The end is just the beginning…

Written by: on April 19, 2024

It was the fall of 2021, a year after the pandemic that rocked our world when I took the risk to start my doctoral program in leadership. The was a restlessness, a wrestling in my soul that was calling me to learn more to step towards a new path. The pandemic taught us so much about our systems, ourselves, our families and friends, and about our deep need for community. It was during the pandemic where leaders fell and leaders were born. It was also during the pandemic that Annabel Beerel wrote Rethinking Leadership. The pandemic changed the relevance of roles, and research around leadership. Beerel gives us some new insight on what leaders need to holistically approach leadership in our new post-pandemic context. It was the end of the pandemic but the leadership journey was just beginning.  The book summary states “This book provides a detailed review of the key leadership theories and skills required during times of crises and radical uncertainty, how these can be developed, and how they can be applied in practice.” 1

The End

This is my last blog post as a doctoral student, the end of my journey with this program. It amazes me how quickly the end seems to come, and how quickly things can change. Just as the pandemic changed our understanding of the needs of leaders and how leadership can be developed, an educational program changes the students. We read in our program about the power of knowledge and how it changes us. Alice Hoffman was quoted “Once you know some things, you can’t unknow them. It’s a burden that can never be given away.” Learning is this way, leadership development is this way, and thus what seems like the end is only the beginning.

The Start of Something New

In the book Rethinking Leadership, Beerel brings together a collection of ideas to reach a holistic approach to leadership development. This was how my research for my doctoral project developed. It was looking at psychology, neuroscience, sociology, and the impact of external influences to understand how leaders lose their capacity for risk. It was during this research that I discovered the power of play and how leaders can benefit from this simple exercise. In the midst of trauma and crisis leaders can be worn out, burned out, stressed out, and simply feeling stuck. It can feel like the end of their leadership journey, but what if from these moments something new could be born. From the finishing of my doctoral work something new is beginning, to equip and empower leaders to engage in new ways, by discovering the power of play that can facilitate leadership risk-taking.

As this final blog post is written the beginning of something new can be written, Venturing Free can be born… Rather than saying goodbye or the end, let me say this: I have learned, I have seen, I have finished and now it is



Thank you to all those who have walked this journey with me may you be reminded to play, to take a risk, and to lead from all you have learned. The world needs this new beginning from each of you!



  1. Beerel, Annabel. 2021. Rethinking Leadership : A Critique of Contemporary Theories. Milton: Taylor & Francis Group.


About the Author


Sara Taylor Lattimore

Sara is adopted, a wife of 17 years, a mother to 2 amazing children who give her opportunities to be a cheerleader, dress up like a princess, play soccer in the mud, and go on amazing adventures. With a Bachelors in political science and sociology, Sara worked for Child Protective Services as a legal caseworker before following a call into full-time ministry in 2008. During her time in full-time ministry Sara has served in medium to large size local congregations, as well as camp ministry. Sara has a passion for serving others, writing, and speaking. In 2016 Sara worked on a joint publication as a Curriculum Writer. Sara wrote the Intergenerational/Family & Day Camp Resources in “Beyond Belief” for InsideOut Christian Resources for Outdoor Ministry- Published by Chalice Press- Release Date 2018. Sara is looking forward to writing her own book next. Sara completed her MDiv from Iliff School of Theology in 2019 and is currently working on her Doctorate in Leadership and Global Perspectives from Portland Seminary. Sara currently serves as Lead Pastor of a local church in Southwestern Montana. She has previously served in ministry positions leading congregations in engaging globally in healthy mission and outreach partnerships, living life missionally, building innovative programs, and building relationships as the Director of Missions and Outreach, College Ministry Coordinator, Family and Children’s Ministry Director, Director of Christian Education, and Camp Program Director. She is an innovator and visionary who looks to find empowering and dignity restoring ways of building communities of belonging, while listening and partnering with others to find ways to also address the needs of the communities she is planted in. Beyond her work, Sara dreams of growing her family through adoption, kayaking with Orcas, going on pilgrimage on the Camino De Santiago in Spain, traveling in an RV across North America, and traveling internationally.

12 responses to “The end is just the beginning…”

  1. Michael O'Neill says:

    Great post and wise words, Sara. It is definitely the beginning and not the end and a fantastic opportunity to go out and be the church.

    Great quote by Alice Hoffman applying the threshold concept.

    It[‘s been a joy to learn with you too. Thank you!

  2. mm Becca Hald says:

    Sara, I enjoyed reading your post. Yes, this is only the beginning! That is how I have felt as we come to the end of our doctoral journey. Now the real work begins. I cannot wait to see what comes next for you.

    • Becca,
      Thank you for your constant encouragement and your joy! You have made this journey so special and I am grateful to have been on it with you. I can’t wait to see where the next journey takes you! Your work is so meaningful, keep leading!

  3. Sara – It’s amazing to think about how much has changed in your life since we started this program! I think back to D.C. and how uncertain you were about your position and now you’re a pastor in another state creating a risk program for other leaders! I thank God for the path He has set for you and can’t wait to collaborate into the future!

    • Laura, All I can think about at this point in the journey is the transformation since DC. I am grateful for you and your leadership, for all the wisdom you share. Your work is amazing and I can’t wait to have opportunities to collaborate with you! Keep on leading your work is needed in the world!

  4. mm Shonell Dillon says:

    Things have truly changed since then. I pray you well in your future endeavors.

  5. mm Daron George says:

    Dr. Lattimore,

    Your discussion about the “power of play” as a tool for leaders to manage stress and enhance their capacity for risk-taking is compelling. I’m a fan for sure! I believe your concept introduces a refreshing approach to leadership resilience, emphasizing the importance of balancing seriousness with levity, which can rejuvenate and sustain leaders in challenging times.

    • Daron, I read your comment and I thought who is he writing to … I’m not sure I am quite ready for my new title. Thank you for your kind words and for seeing the value that I hope my work brings. We will have to get you on a retreat soon!

  6. Alana Hayes says:

    Sara I have enjoyed doing this with you! Lets Venture Free together!

  7. mm Chad McSwain says:

    Sara – what a joy it has been to be on this journey together. I continue to be amazed at your family’s willingness to go on an adventure together. This will forever define their life and approach to life. I am proud to know you. I am grateful that you are lending your voice to help other pastors. You will help others do the very thing you are living out in your life – take some risks for the joy of it. It is just the beginning!

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