Saturday, August 9, 2008

Willow Leadership Day Two

Well it's all over! Another fantastic day today. Those of you who can make it in October are in for a real treat.

Today started with Craig Groeschel - another leader whose books have deeply impacted me. He leads a church called LifeChurch.TV which gathers over 23,000 people every weekend on 13 sites, but what really impresses me about him is his raw honesty about his own life and just being who he is - have a look at his book "Confessions of a Pastor" I'd you want to see what I mean. Today he spoke on having the "it" factor in our churches, and the reasons why some leaders have "it" and others don't. There was enough in this one session for me to sit in a darkened room for several weeks processing it!

Second up was Chuck Colson who as part of President Nixon's government was jailed as a result of the 1974 Watergate scandal. He spoke on the core elements of our faith and how we need to be clear on those.

Then on to for me the most inspiring session of the day, with a 31 year old lady called Catherine Rohr. In 2004 she set up the Prison Enterpreneurship Program which teaches business skills to prisoners in Texas and helps them get housing and jobs when they are released. After release only 5% of the prisoners end up back in prison compared to a national average of over 50%. If you want to know what a surrendered life looks like then I'm not sure I've ever seen a better example than this lady. Worth the conference fee on its own!

Then a business guy called Brad Anderson who is the CEO of a company called Best Buy. He has built the company on encouraging employees to put their families first and by really listening to what they have to say.

Finally Bill closed the conference speaking on living a surrendered life and challenged is to live lives where we say "Here I am, send me" to whatever God asks us to do. Very moving.

So a fantastic conference - it's been such a privilege to be here and to be a part of it all. I can't wait for the rest of you to see it so we can work on the implications of it all for us as individuals and as a church.

Tomorrow we meet to choose which DVDs to show in Bracknell, then its church at Willow on Saturday evening and up at 5 Sunday morning to get the plane back!



Jacqui W-G said...

Hi Simon, thanks as ever for keeping us connected with what you are thinking and doing. I would like to ask that you prioritise getting the DVDs which have a focus on social action and justice. I feel that the area of prison work is an old well that we can re-open. I wonder whether CAP have moved into supporting prisoners yet? There have been many programmes on TV recently both dramas and factual documentaries demonstrating that prisons rarely reform but further corrupt due to over crowding, under funding, and those determined to further enslave inmates.

We also have many people involved in education, and as a person who has been on the front line with the government's "removing barriers" agenda I know there is still so much more work to be done as our society has further polarised with the educated growing ever more successful leaving an under class of those who get left behind.

SO please can I ask that you get all of the DVDs even if they are not all shared at the conference. Increasingly I believe we are being led at Kerith, to know and love the least in society, and the first step comes from engaging our own hearts and minds.

Warmest greetings. Jacqui

Anonymous said...

Hi Jacqui (and everyone else)

We've got a great conference line up in October. We have got both of the sessions that you mentioned - one on each day.

Catherine Rohr in particular was very popular in every country.

I am just working out final timing's etc. but the content of this years conference is great - I'd really encourage everyone to get along.