Catching up a little with blogging, last weekend I was at the GLS in Norwich. 100,000 leaders, across the world watching great teaching (not all in Norwich though...)
My highlights include:
Bill Hybels - Talking about compressing our wisdom in to Axioms, and using them in leadership. One of his that I like is "Vision leaks". It does and we need to plan for that. I have one of my own that is about naming fear (and therefore reducing it's power) My axiom is "It can only go horribly wrong".
Gary Haugan - Who talked about leading in the real world; when it seems hopeless, scary or difficult. He reminded us that "If you want your leadership to matter, lead in the things that matter to God." He also reminded us that if God is passionate about getting something done, then HE is responsible for getting it done! (kinda takes the pressure off really.)
Wendy Kopp - We often look to the bible for stories of how God has worked in the past and draw lessons from them. Wendy Kopp is a modern day example of how God speaks and leads today. You can check out what she did to end up so reviled at teachforamerica.org. This is real social justice without the hyperbole that I've seen so often. The program seems genuine, well spoken but not boastful. Incidentally, I took no notes during this session as I was so interested in her passion about the injustice she saw. (So, you social justice/action lot, lose the arrogance and pass on the passion to the rest of the church...)
Craig Groeschel - The guy from lifechurch.tv He was mainly talking about IT, which he can't define but has ironically written a book on...I digress. Another encouraging example of a group of people who are determined to share the good news and prepared to take risks in order to do it. If you don't know anything about lifechurch.tv then you should check it out. The idea of mastering production and technology to work the sites as they do is beyond pretty much every church in the UK. There's a thought... Anyway, he said two things that really stuck with me "In order to reach people no one is reaching, you have to do things no-one is doing" and "Failure is not an option, it's a necessity. Failure allows us to see Jesus as He really is; full of Grace."
John Burke - Led a session on Leading in New Cultural Realities. He talked about letting God work but working hard to create the right conditions for spiritual growth. This guy and the church he's leading really spoke to me. They have a few catch phrases (of course) but they're things like "Come as you are" and "No perfect people allowed". As John Ortberg said at his home church a few weeks ago, there's real power when people are accepted as they are by people who know what their problems and faults are."
I was so attracted to the ideas John was unpacking that I bought the book. I was a little surprised to start reading it to be greeted by phrases like the 'post-modern experiment' and 'post-modern','post-christian' and others, but it is interspersed with real life stories that show how the reality of today is formed by the reality of the past. I'll post more on this later.
My final thought, and one in John's book, is that his study is of America and therefore you have to draw principals from the book in order to apply it elsewhere. More on that later.
P.S. For the complacent, the U.S. is, according to John Burkes book, the third largest mission field in the world.
(Can you tell I'm a little belligerent at the moment?)