So I know what you are thinking – Isn’t it a little early to be thinking about General Conference? I mean, it isn’t until May. We have Christmas and Easter and Groundhog Day and lots of other stuff to get to.
Maybe, but General Conferences don’t just happen. They also don’t go well without lots of help. That’s where you all come in.
I know what you are thinking again – “But I am not going to General Conference in all likelihood. What does this have to do with me?” Good question. Stick with me.
What I want to do is give you ideas as to how you can help us be ready for General Conference, and this will have a Church Health and Leadership Development slant. Ready?
If you are not going, the best thing you can do is pray. Pray for the folks planning. Pray for the speakers and presenters and leaders. Pray that we will be prepared to inspire and equip your churches to take responsibility for your communities. Pray that we will supply ideas and resources and people that will help your church continue to move towards robust health. Pray that we will find ways to develop and equip current leaders and future leaders. Those are big lofty goals, but that’s those are the kinds of things we would like to start at an event like General Conference.
Pray for your pastors and delegates as they attend. Pray that as they listen and engage at General Conference that they will hear God through His Holy Spirit as He nudges and whispers and gives direction as to what is next for your church. That would be most helpful.
Now, for those of you that are attending I would add the following to what is above (because you need to do that stuff too), and I hope this goes beyond the stuff we always say. You know – show up, be prepared etc. I mean, that’s good stuff, but there might be a little more.
Look and listen for stuff that will help your church and leaders. That’s what people are praying will happen. So pay attention.
Attend the workshops. Something there will help your church dream or plan or fix or take the next step. So go and listen and learn and be inspired.
Engage with others. During breaks and meals look for folks you don’t know and find out what’s working at their church. You may not need to do exactly what they are doing, but what they are doing (and why they are doing it) may inspire some good thinking and dreaming that you can take home and ask others to join you in.
So there you go. A couple of ideas to get you started in helping General Conference be all it can be for your church. Thanks for praying and participating. We all look forward to what God has for us next as a movement and in your local church.
Director of Leadership Development and Church Health, the Free Methodist Church in Canada