Our District Superintendent Randy Craker invited Alyssa and I to Pinelow this weekend for a meeting with pastors of churches of similar size to ours this weekend. The game of “To Tell the Truth” on Sunday night was a highlight. My group used a story of mine from college, nobody guessed that it was me, because I was kind of a jerk in the story. Other pastors don’t think I have it in me to be a jerk.
The Monday meetings were training on being a missional church. Randy taught three shifts that must take place if the church is going to be missional. The shift that struck me most is the shift from program development to people development in terms of core activity. I have been giving this a lot of thought lately, especially because I have been thinking about realistic discipleship models for our congregation. I’m convinced that programming is not the answer, but I’m also convinced that if I don’t provide some structure to discipleship it will be frustrating (because I won’t have a means of recognizing growth) and exhausting.
There were several good bits of practical wisdom that came from the training, which I will be using, first with our work and witness participants, as we continue exploring how the trip has changed things for us. The goal will be to avoid continuing the precedent of the contemporary church, which is summed up in the quote of the week, “We have an over-educated and under-obedient laity, and it’s our fault.”