Monday, July 22, 2013

This Year's Conference with Fellow Wizards

I spent last week in Fort Wayne, Indiana attending our church's international business meeting.  My father used to refer to these meetings as my gatherings with fellow wizards, a description that would concern some fellow wizards.  Nonetheless, pastors and leaders from all around the world gather every other year to conduct official business, catch up with one another, and share reports about what God is doing in different corners of the globe.  This year's theme was Shift, as you can see from the promotional banner.  It was encouraging to spend time with Don Cousins, Francis Chan, and Alan and Deb Hirsch. Their teaching and interaction was a great source of encouragement and insight.  Time well spent.

The three areas of SHIFT we discussed were....

Shift from church building to disciplemaking
Shift from program shaping to life shaping
Shift from participation to reproduction

Some thought provoking quotes............

Something happens when we pray that doesn’t happen when we don’t
Without Him we can’t and without us He won’t
Jesus didn’t say go and make “attendees”
God has called us to more than merely managing human activity
When you build a church you seldom get disciples, but when you make disciples you always get a church. 

Each one of these represent an hour or two of teaching and conversation.  I will be talking more about them for the next few weeks.

On a lighter note, I wore my Alabama shirt when we were relaxing.  I received it two weeks ago when my brother visited from Birmingham.  I got two SEC! fist bumps, a couple of strange looks from some Florida Gator fans, and one Roll Tide! in the hotel lobby.  Seems there are Alabama fans all over the place.  

This picture was taken in the 7th inning of a Fort Wayne Tin Caps game, a minor league team there in Fort Wayne.  They are in the same league as the Lansing Lug Nuts.  It was fun sharing a game with AL, Sue and others.  I enjoyed visiting with everyone and we returned home glad to be back in the land of the Maize and Blue.

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