OK, so I didn’t get back to my promised second post yesterday. I apologize.
Last night’s plenary went better than Tuesday’s. Jenny is an engaging speaker and she did give me a bit to chew on, which I always appreciate. I’m wondering, however, if we may not have set up the plenaries with a focus that wasn’t as tight as it could have been. It might just be me, but I find nothing revelatory in saying that pastors are large portion of why many churches don’t grow. I know I’m a problem, it’s part of my make up. Then again, the vast majority of people at the conference are from older generations and the way pastors used to be taught was to “show no weakness” (and that’s how my seminary tried to teach me). So maybe it as helpful for them.
The real strength of the conference so far has been in the workshops and afternoon conversations (in fact, I think the conversations should have replaced traditional plenary speeches). Today I went to a workshop on cell-based ministry with a pastor named Pablo. I met him on the bus ride from Appleton to Green Lake and instantly liked him, so when I found out he was teaching this workshop I was most happy. Sadly, I had to leave early to do my video gig – but I liked what he was presenting. I think maybe a formal workshop isn’t the best forum for his teaching style – but he has great passion and is very gracious (a wonderful conversation). I have to connect with him this afternoon so I can get him in a context where we can be in conversation about the ministry he’s doing.
The video gig went well – I’m not doing the editing since we’re using our videographer’s cameras and that gives me some more time to be in conversation with others. Most people are congregating in the lounge that has wi-fi, so it’s an easy place to strike up some conversations. I don’t know which conversation I’ll be heading to this afternoon, but I’m sure it’ll be thought-provoking.