Always Keep Learning and Growing!
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
Good, solid Biblical resources are hard to find. But free? Yes, there is a quality online conference that you can enjoy any time (day or night) that works into your schedule – and it’s all for free!
What is it called? 'JustONE' Virtual Conference 2018
When is it happening? It begins on February 5, 2018
How long will it be held? For 14 days!
Don’t let that overwhelm you, just think of it as a mini-retreat in the comfort of your own home! In fact, the website says “Get all this delivered straight to your phone or computer while sitting comfortably on your couch, latte in hand, wearing yoga pants.” Now, I don’t personally have any yoga pants, and I’ve never had a latte in hand when at home, but…
I loved the last 'JustONE' Virtual Conference (more details below!). I watched many of the challenges at my kitchen table. Some I enjoyed cuddled up on my couch. Sometimes I enjoyed one a day. Other days, I absorbed several. What amazed me though was how many sessions I did enjoy and were challenged by. That is hard to find in a conference at times – virtual or otherwise! Throughout the event the focus will be on the truths found in 2 Corinthians 6:3-13, and a wide variety of speakers will share “JustONE thing they have learned from their personal lives and their leadership.”
How can you get signed up?
It will literally take you less than a minute - unless you have really slow internet! Just go to http://leadingandlovingit.com/equip/justone, click on the Register button and then fill in some basic information.
Even if you only carve out time to enjoy 1 or 2 of the speakers, I’m confident that you’ll be blessed by hearing others’ testimonies of God’s work in their personal lives. Plus, God may give you a teaching point or two that will change your perspective on life or ministry. Here’s one truth that really blessed me…
Lori Wilhite shared about the struggles and inner conflict we face when church members/attenders leave our church community to go to another church. Facing that reality is never easy! To illustrate the common church dynamics she drew three circles. A large outer circle. A middle circle within the larger, and then a smaller circle inside the middle one – creating a bullseye of sorts. In the large outer circle she wrote the word, Crowd. In the middle circle she wrote the word, Congregation. In the smaller circle she wrote the word, Core. Breaking down the church dynamics in a visual way, while speaking to the various involvement levels of individuals really helped me define what I’d seen happen in our church and in other churches I was familiar with.
We all know that there is a little bit of the ‘shopping center’ mentality for many church attenders. “If you have what I want for my kids, I’ll be there.” Or “If you offer my style of music or preference of … (fill in the blank), I’ll be there.” But, when a neighboring church starts a program or ministry, the Crowd often does not stay loyal to a church body. They move on to the next new thing.
The Congregation is likened to those who are invested in ministry and are not easily swayed by the newest trend. However, they are still not fully committed in time, energy or finances. And, then there are those that are the Core. The pillars of the church. They could be young or old. They could be new or long-term servants. They are the committed!
Defining the different groups of people who are likely a part of every church really helped me to let go of the “whys” of a particular family’s departure and take a step back. I let go of what seemed a bit personal (a type of abandonment) and was better able to wish them well. We shared a season of ministry and life together, and for that I can celebrate those years and pray for who God may bring along our path in the days to come.
So, that was my nugget of encouragement from JustONE, and I have not forgotten it. The concept really helped me gain perspective - and healing! Perhaps God has JustONE special truth to share with you this year? It’s worth a try!