the topic of church conferences has been a popular one the past week. ben arment brought up how conferences are looking too much like one another by enlisting the same speakers. anne jackson talked about how big conferences can actually discourage those who attend  by pulling out all the stops — flashy programming, intense music, expensive budgets, incredible speakers, big facilities — leaving people discouraged that their churches don’t have that much money, talent, freedom, staff, unity, whatever.

there seems to be a consensus that the church conference scene is pretty saturated.  even with all that the great and many ones that are out there (including our own church’s), i still see a big hole in what’s being offered. here’s an idea for a different kind of conference, one that motivates and inspires church leaders by being honest about the issues that can hit our churches. maybe someday, someone, somewhere…

CONFERENCE TITLE: “Church in Crisis”

PREMISE: No church has it all figured out. But as leaders and pastors, we all like to pretend we do.  We all struggle through many of the same issues and failures. No matter how much your church has grown or shrunk, no matter how big or small your budget is, chances are that you’ve been through or will go through trouble as a church. As a leader, it’s up to you to lead your church through that trouble with humility, integrity and hope. The only requirement for coming is that you don’t hide your failures. We want to hear all about it. And we’ll start by telling you all about ours.

-Help! Our Denomination Stole Our Church Building!
-When A Leader Fails – Recovering Your Church From Moral Failure
-The Vision You Thought Your Church Had…And Realized It Didn’t.
-Worship Wars – How To Get People Singing The Same Song Again
-Crisis In Children’s Ministry – “We Ain’t Got No Stinkin’ Volunteers!”
-Student Ministry In Crisis – What To Do When Pizza Parties Won’t Cut It Anymore
-“I Just Fired My Best Friend”
-Singles Ministry – Take 17.
-The Second Generation Church – When Older Generations Won’t Let Go &
Younger Generations Won’t Step Up
-The Elder-Led Church. Really?
-“It’s Too Loud” – And Other Reasons To Ditch the Comment Card For The Sake of Your Staff
-Capital Campaigns Gone Bad – How To Regain Your Church’s Trust
-Small Groups – “Where Real Growth Happens.”   Right???
-The Church Across Town – What To Do When Pastors Pass One Another At The Grocery Store

…this could go on for hours. anyway, that’s a thought. hopefully it’s one that could encourage other church leaders as well. i know that the conferences thatmost benefited me did so because they were  a discussion—a true catalyst for imagination, collaboration, and encouragement.

whether you’re in the church world or not, what’s your take on the conferences you go to? what makes you love ’em/hate ’em?


~ by bradherndon on January 13, 2009.

One Response to ““CREATIFY! VISIONATE! STRATEGEER YOUR CHURCH!” … a word on conferences”

  1. dude. amazing… makes you wonder what would happen if every church lost it’s facade of “everything ok” and we got down to the core issues, and how to best resolve them, without loosing face with unbelievers. I think we shy away from being real because we don’t want to taint how unbelievers see us. We think that being “salt” means we have to seem perfect. i know i do sometimes. i want people to think that i have everything together, so i find myself faking it. acting like something i am not. and i strive to be something “better”, instead of being something “real”. thus creating the paradox of “Christians are fakes”. i wonder how Jesus feels about that.

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