November 17, 2016

Conferences in Dallas this week

This week, I'm in Dallas for two conferences. The Génesis Gathering brings together church planters and new ministry developers in the Episcopal Church from across the U.S., Latin America and Europe. Following that I will be at the Evangelism Matters conference, also here in Dallas. (Which, by the way, sold out! That's right: an Episcopal conference on evangelism sold out!)

It's been good to see folks I haven't seen in quite awhile, including folks from DC and Virginia. It's always good to be at gatherings such as these because it reminds me of all the great work going on across the Church. We hear a lot of demoralizing news about churches these days, Whenever I'm at events such as this, I'm reminded that there is a lot to be hopeful about.

And here's what you should really be encouraged about: most of those leaders and communities of some of the coolest, ground breaking stuff for the sake of the gospel across the U.S. were not orchestrated by national or diocesan offices. Sure, they may have received short-term, limited funds but very few received training, coaching and limited direction.

Why is that encouraging? A couple reasons. First, it means that like Jesus sending out the disciples in Luke 10, you don't need much to develop new ministries. It's not the money, the authority or the training that make good work possible. It's passion. Don't get me wrong, those things help. Immensely. But they are not the basic necessity for innovation.

Secondly, it means we've got some seriously passionate, capable leaders across this tradition. Enough that they've been able to create innovative ministry with only nominal support. Honestly, the Génesis Gathering wouldn't have happened if it weren't for those that didn't wait on their tradition to catch the vision. And now that this tradition is finally beginning to get strategic, just imagine what's possible!