Sheffield Conference 2009
As I write this blog entry, I have finished three of the four days of the Pilgrimage in Sheffield England. It has been a great privilege to be able to come again this year. The benefits of attending times like these conferences are that they are times of intense focus that are different from reading a book, listening to a podcast or having an occasional meeting.
The format is very similar to last year (see the blog entries from then 1 2 3 4). For me as a leader and for us as a church we are now 12 months further down our journey of learning to use the language and ideas of lifeshapes to communicate and help us implement the biblical processes of discipleship and mission. It has been helpful to again hear teaching on the three dimensions of life with God, the church and the world (Triangle - Up In Out), the learning circle about learning from the kairos events in our lives, the leadership square about apprenticeship, and (in advance for tomorrow) the pentagon on ministry roles.
The main benefit is that it in the middle of the teaching, some aspects that haven't been working well or need to be focused on get highlighted. For example, they talked about the importance in the observe, reflect and discuss part of the learning circle to try and get under the surface and ask why things happened at a deeper level and not just racing to add another activity. What deep, even unconscious ways of thinking about God, ourselves or the world need to be changed. In other words, how do our minds need to be renewed in specific areas so that we will transformed into greater Christlikeness. I have also been challenged a number of different times to be more intentional about apprenticeship and applying the leadership square process.
Like last year, we all had the opportunity to go out on mission. This year I took part in a simple exercise of going out with other people to pick up rubbish and hand out chocolates and flowers under the banner of Love Sheffield. It was a simple and easy thing to do and people had a number of significant conversations with passers by or people in houses. These sorts of activities are low bar - you don't need a theology degree or even special skills.
I look forward to sharing these and other reflections in more detail when I return.