Friday, June 06, 2008

Annual Conference 2008 - We're Here!

I've noticed a dichotomy at Annual Conference. On the one hand, in the sermon today and the Bishop's talk among others, there is a great energy and hope and Christ-centered, mission focused stuff. It's great and renewing and really cool and fun and powerful stuff.

Then we do the business. And the business stuff is a perfect example of an organization meeting together for the sake of itself, and one of the most frustrating aspects of mainline Christianity in general. It feels so rote, so bare minimum, so shallow.

Isn't there a different way to do this? Why do we have to gather together to be handed a printed list of names of people that are then read out loud to us and a perfunctory, half-hearted raising of the hands rubber stamps it? There has got to be another way to do this, better than this organizational meeting for the sake of the organization.

Hmm ... let's work on it!


matt gallion said...

so true. so true. what's a conference to do?

that rhymes! let's write a song!

Anonymous said...

being part of several organizations, one of which is looking for new ways to grow or it will probably wither and no longer exist, I heard a friend of mine give a pretty good quote about organizational direction (primarily to gain younger members, but it could be used as an analogy for anything, including bringing people to Christ):

"when I look in the mirror I have to ask myself if this is the face of the member that I want the group to be like, and the answer is it's not. why? because I'm too old and we need new younger members with the kind of enthusiasm and excitement that gets a group growing and spreading the message. so, in everything we did, every decision from the smallest to the largest at every level of the group was centered around this theme. And you know what, it worked."

Now I'm not saying boot out all of the old folks out of the conference, but if we look at our system, our methodism, are we doing everything we can to "make disciples and bring people to Christ?" And do we use that for the backdrop for ALL decisions that must be made from the local church council level all the way up to the conference?

I know I look forward to hearing your word in a few weeks here in Springfield and I think you are definitely on the right track with your thoughts about annual conference.


Jeremy V. said...

I have notes to share with you on "suggestions" I heard and I pondered during some of AC. They might be beneficial to your new position on AC Sessions. I will type it up and email you...wait...are you getting a new email account as you leave? Conference is always good for connecting, lunch was great!