From The Mountaintop

by | May 2, 2017 | Vibrant Faith

When those two disciples were on the road to Emmaus, (Luke 24) they too had just “gotten through” Easter. Like you, they were out of breath.  Your “out of breath” may have been caused by the hectic busyness of leading a community of faith at Easter, but maybe there’s more….

Theirs was fed by the confusion and disorientation of the events of those days in Jerusalem. So many things that they felt sure of about their faith and their community of disciples were suddenly up for grabs. They didn’t know what to do next or what to do at all. But they were still on the road, and deeply engaged in talking about how everything had changed. Hmmm, maybe you might have more in common with them than you thought.

We at Vibrant Faith just spent three days last week with an amazing group of ministry leaders. Like you, many of them were out of breath; and like you and those disciples on the road, they aren’t sure where to turn next, and are no longer sure that the things they thought they were sure about the church and its people were going to allow them to take their churches into the future.

We were together at a Summit. We structured it as a Summit because the top of a mountain allows you to see the lay of the land and realities that you just can’t see from below. The Vibrant Faith Summit Event held last week in Bloomington, MN allowed us time and space to dig into the realities that matter deeply for the formation of faith into the future. Here are some of the things that WE saw that appeared to make a difference–for them and for us.

Faith formation = transforming relationships + adaptive leadership + digital engagement.… Click To Tweet

The POWER of Transforming Relationships:  Many of our leaders are so busy running churches and living up to expectations that they have little time for deep, life-giving relationships of their own–for their own souls. We experienced a profound change in people after they had the opportunity to have conversations that connected them with others at the Summit event. The intensity of conversation rose palpably as people were able to get to know others at a deep level.  Relationships are the soil for the formation of faith. Leaders need them as much (perhaps more) than the people they serve. They are the music of life. Take time for the relationships of your life. Take time to generate and nurture them.

The HOPE of Adaptive Leadership: We saw lights turn on and real hope expressed as Jim LaDoux helped people understand the dance that is leadership in today’s church. We talked about hope and change and fear and change and risk and change and going out not knowing where you are going. Jim recently said that he sees leadership 15 years ago like playing football. There were plays and strategic plans. Today, its like Basketball–with plays that have to be adapted quickly, and strategic thinking. Think about that. And learn the skills of adaptive leadership.

The CLARITY of Digital Engagement:  Our eyes were opened by the importance and the nature of digital engagement. This may feel like ONE.MORE.THING on your already overloaded ministry plate, but as Jared Rendell pointed out to us, faith is formed where people are, and your people are online. How are you going to engage them?  How are you going to allow your faith community to reach others through digital presence and conversation?

Our Summit was such a success and we are so excited about the enthusiasm and encouragement that people took away, that we are now looking to hold a second one later in the year. Stay tuned and look forward to more information soon, and let us know if you’d like to host a Summit in your area!

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