I have just got back from two very stimulating days at the leadership conference at Royal Albert Hall hosted by HTB.
The two days highlighted such a rich diversity within the church today, such that we really do represent a rainbow church, wearing a coat of many colours with the connecting stream of reliance on Jesus.
the days contained high quality presentations such as the new Anglican Archbiship of Canterbury Justin Welby who spoke of the importance of Grace, of the naturalness of Church Growth but that work is hard, though God will always provide.
Bill Hybels from Willow Creek Church - spoke of how to encourage change/growth, of the importance of the here to there model (conc on the here and illustrate how untenable here is), the straight line model to determine how team members are coping and who needs help, and the challenge line - showing the importance of being overchallenged.
Patrick Lencioni spoke of Cultural leadership and the relationship between Truth and Grace and radical humility. and of the dangers of moral relativity
Christopher West spoke of nakedness without shame, our relationship with the sexual imperative. If music can reawaken our brains when diseased, can the saviour reawaken our souls. Yes. Christ came to reclaim our relationship with God. When we truly see each other we see beyond our physical sexual identities that are created by us.
The day ended with a time of prayer and worship with Nicky Gumble asking delegates to pray for those around them in healing attitudes. This was challenging for me, and I remain to be convinced. Was I seeing mass psychology, why don't I ever follow the crowd?
Day 2 highlights included a Catholic Cardinal who wowed the congregation with confessions of his personal relationship with Jesus, something we don't often hear from the Vatican. Peter Lencioni spoke again this time about teams, highlighting the 5 dysfunctions and sharing the importance of trust, conflict, honesty, accountability and responsibility within teams. Elle Mumford hosted another pentecostal feeling session on healing and the Holy Spirit. One of her case studies involved a child with a cleft palate that allegedly healed immediately whilst being prayed for. I find this extremely difficult. Why not all the time? The explanation was not sufficient for me. An example of the diversity within the Church both a strength and a weakness. Though on balance more of a strength than a weakness.
After Lunch, Steven Furtick spoke of our calling being our calling, and of identifying the calling with the person. This i followed with a complementary seminar by Fr Luigi Gioia who gave a quietly spoken presentation without any special effects that appeared to me to be a true pearl. he spoke of Leadership in Monasticism differentiating between the secular leader and the Christian Leader. Humility and a willingness to accept humiliation as a mark of Grace.