I just got back from a couple days with a group of about 20 pastor friends where we had a round table type discussion about the challanges of ministry, leadership and theology in our changing culture. This has become an annual gathering and it is something that I look forward to every year. Its a great time to sit down with some great thinkers and pastors like Brian McLaren, Keith Matthews, Pavi Thomas, JR Woodward and a bunch of other church planters. Ministry can get pretty overwhelming and its a great chance to refresh and really get into some awesome conversation with some really smart and experienced people. Our conversation covered some of the following:

– What is “success” in church planting/ministry
– The place (i.e. what should it “do”) of worship (the music part) in a “worship service” – should it prepare or be in response to the message, etc…
– What would church look like if there were no worship service
– Where would a pastor spend his time if there were no sunday morning worship service (not that we should do away with them…but just “what if” – trying to emphesize the “other” parts of ministry…
– How we need to be naming, unmasking and engaging the “systems” of this world. (For more insight into this idea check out this website and find the message called “Discovering the Devil’s Footprints.”)

some of the best conversation was in the informal times of hanging out together. i had some great discussion with some good friends from NLCF about how we as pastors we not only need to encourage our communities to engage and share their faith with the culture, but we need to give them practical ways to do this. Sometimes as pastors, we speak of the big idea too much and don’t give practical ways to “live the Kingdom.”

We also talked about a bunch of other stuff…but i’ve gotta go take care of my son…i’ll share more later…when I have more time…

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