This past week I had the great privilege to attend the National Church Leadership Institute held at Andover Newton Theological Seminary and sponsored by the Center for Progressive Renewal. It was a wonderful three days but, as I tweeted after the conference, you cannot stay on the mountain forever you have to come down and get to work. The conference really started me thinking and it also confirmed many of the thoughts I have already had and that is a good thing. When we are able to start to solidify our thoughts, and start to create a plan of action, that is always a good thing.
A few random thoughts I have; the general sessions were great and the speakers were provoking just as they should be. I am so tired of conferences where there is no challenge! What is the point? The entire idea of learning, no matter what the environment, is to challenge your ideas and move you outside of your comfort zone, otherwise growth will not happen.
So here is a list, more of a stream of consciousness, of what I learned. This is not in any particular order.
- I’m looking for a grown up faith with a grown up God.
- There is still hope and faith in the Church and in the future. And people are still coming to Jesus.
- It’s okay to be a Progressive Christian (time for more of us to come out of the closet!)
- Spend more time with the people who want to be at Church and not with those who don’t.
- We must be deeply rooted but radically open.
- We need Prophetic Greif and Revolutionary Love (this is going to take more thought)
- As a pastor I cannot do it myself, if I try I will fail. I NEED GOD!
- “Where is God?” Is the wrong question.
- When we confess our sins in community, it puts us back into God’s great democracy.
- The ultimate local movement is, “God came to dwell among us.”
So thank you to those who brought this conference to Boston!