I had the privilege of attending and leading a workshop at the Apprentice National Conference 2014 last week in Wichita, Kansas. The theme of this year’s conference was “Formation for Mission: Becoming the Change our World Needs”. It was a great couple of days spent with around 250 others with the same shared vision of participating in God’s transforming work in the world, wherever we are.
The workshop I led was called, “10 Things We Have Learned in Helping Churches Pay Attention to Adult Formation”. My hope was to win the award for the longest title…that did not happen. (There was no such award.) There were 2 great groups of people that attended the workshop on Friday morning and afternoon. I was able to share some insights we have gained from our 16 years of partnering with churches across North America and our recent Research Inquiry. We also had some lively discussion about discipleship, adult formation, and the participant’s diverse contexts.
It was quite a privilege for me to be a workshop leader. Some of the other workshop leaders were Richard and Nathan Foster, Brenda Salter McNeil, Dr. James Bryan Smith, Shane Claiborne, our VP3 friend and Agent Beth Booram, and many others.
There were also some great and challenging messages shared by the main conference speakers…
Here are some of their tidbits of wisdom, Truth, & insight…
Brenda Salter McNeil
– We cannot forget the importance of community in our own spiritual formation. Most of us have been formed in homogenous communities which makes it hard to be shaped into the multifaceted image of God…of that we must be aware.
– “Where we settle is where we die” – a challenge to always be growing and transforming…
– “Too much information in our head without embodying it makes the heart sick.”
Dr. Jeff Bjorck
– (In a discussion about gratitude) “Too often we step over our answered prayer requests, like dirty laundry, on the way to our next request.” – A collective and convicting, “ouch!” was heard among the crowd.
– “Self care = embracing my limits” – and letting God take care of His part…
– A reminder of Matthew 16:33 – “Seek first the Kingdom…” and God will take care of the rest.
– “God doesn’t want to change the world without us.” – He is always inviting us into His great story of hope and renewal.
– “Knowingly and willingly put to death a spirituality of heroism”…it’s about the simple, little things. Don’t expect to be a hero, just be different.
I was fortunate to meet some great people and have some great conversations at our VantagePoint3 table! I am excited to continue building those relationships that began to develop in my time in Wichita. I have a feeling that VantagePoint3 will be seeing more of Wichita, Kansas in the future!
I was also fortunate to spend some time with some people whose friendships I have grown to cherish. Thank you Vic, Beth & Dave, and Danny. It was great to see you all again!