Hurray! Another conference where I am going to learn to be a great pastor just like all those other great pastors who also went to those conferences and now some of them are leading the conferences…
Help! Get me off the conference carousel!
Pastors and other church leaders, does that sound about right? Having been a pastor for over 33 years, I’ve been invited to just about everything. Perhaps like me, you have been constantly bombarded with advertisements and invitations to the most amazing seminars ever where we will learn the best practices to reach the insert here generation. The insert here culture. Like me, you may have attended said event. Then we go to another one. And another one.
I don’t know about you, but I am about conferenced out.
Either speakers and workshop leaders are all talking about the same thing, or they are lifting up principles and practices that are very circumstantial and location-focused. Many times what’s being offered doesn’t even translate to my locale, my mission field, that well.
Now, I will say I have always benefited from attending these events. But it was not usually because of the speakers or the event site or the latest, greatest worship band… It was because I got together with people who wanted to grow and wanted to look at the present and dream of the future in their lives and vocation. It was these other attendees whom I was glad to be with. Energy and spirit are contagious.
What Kind of People Do We Want To Be?
Well, what if you can bring together people not consumed so much with “growing” their church (Jesus is the one who builds the church, after all) and learning strategies, as they are seeking to be the kind of people who are filled with joy and inspired to be kind and caring?
What if you bring together people who are interested in their own personal growth, and they are equally interested in increasing joy in their homes, workplaces, schools, churches, and neighborhoods? People like you and me, who aren’t so much trying to make a difference in the world, as we are trying to make our world different. People who want to join with the Holy Spirit and spread the love and joy of Jesus wherever we find ourselves.
Sound good? Well, that’s what I am doing.
I am attending Rare Community: Developing a People of Trust, Joy, and Engagement, April 21-23 in Kansas City. This gathering is hosted by the Life Model Works folks, and it promises to be a time of renewal and insight about what it means to live in community like Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and to experience this community together.
I trust the Life Model Works people, first, because I am getting to know them, and second because my friends and I are being impacted by the principles and practices, we are experiencing using Joy Starts Here as a guide. I am attending with staff and inviting other friends to join me. We are already learning that to be a pastor/ leader of a church community is to live life together as an extended family on mission, where we are glad to be with each other. This is not some strategy. It is simply living like Jesus lived…like Jesus lives!
So, go ahead, mark me down for another one of those “church conferences” and, say, why don’t you join me? You’ll be glad you did.