Friday, August 14, 2009

Summer conferences

A couple of weeks ago I reflected on the Newfrontiers Together on a Mission Conference which is also called Leadership International. I think it's called Leadership because leaders go to it rather than it being about leadership in the way that the Willow Creek Leadership Summit is (for a view of that from two Newfrontiers pastors, read Sean Green and Simon Benham). Some other guys I know have also been to New Wine this summer (read Ian and Mark's thoughts).

TOAM just seems to fall between the gaps - it's neither as sharp on leadership as Willow Creek, nor is it a church family event like New Wine (or as our own Stoneleigh used to be). It's open to others but this year was all about Newfrontiers, it has theology but rarely stuff from people and places that stretch us (we didn't even have any seminars by the authors of our own theological papers - which seems like a missed opportunity). It's international but the majority of people are unsurprisingly from the UK.

I guess I still don't really know what TOAM is for which always makes it hard to know whether I should go back again. The reason I do of course is for the relationships.

Having said that, I still want to learn and not be arrogant enough to think I know it all, so I'll spend some time listening to the talks and seminars (available here).


Matthew Hosier on 14 August 2009 at 15:23 said...

Hi Phil.

I think you hit it on the head at the end - like everything we do in Nf in the end its all about the relationships. For specific things like leadership skills or theological debate there are other conferences and events to go to. But for me, TOAM is all about going to see my friends, and for us to gather to Terry Virgo's leadership and fathering of us. That is the point of it!

Phil on 14 August 2009 at 18:21 said...

I think I see that but it raises a bunch of questions about the future and is a 4 day conference the best way for us to catch up with our friends? Personally Terry Virgo had little role in my joining of Nf. It was the fathering of others, so maybe I haven't quite the same personal connection/involvement.

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