I just got back from the "Strategic Conversation on Training" that took place in a conference center. And the "Non-Strategic Conversation on Fishing and Other Relevant Stuff" that took place in the pub down the road from the conference center.
Jonny and Si both blogged about it.
Great time. 35 people. Great thinkers and practitioners like Pete Ward (Liquid Church), Bishop Graham Cray (who insisted on being "Graham") Martin Robinson, Roger Ellis, etc. Thanks to CMS for hosting it and Jonny Baker for putting it together.
Results: We agreed to research and map existing training resources and also to collaborate on an accredited integrated missional training for ministry in the emerging culture. Well done!!!
Thanks to Mike Frost (Sydney) and Alan Hirsch (Melbourne) for stimulating the conversation and providing a great working model (FORGE). The English admitted FORGE was further down the road in its integration than what they currently have, but acknowledged that England has a plethora of training resources and needs to find a way to pull all the elements together. We agreed to meet again, to communicate together, to continue to use resources like RE:Source (Roger Ellis), Tribal Training (Bob and Mary Hopkins) and Noel's excellent 22 year old (and still kicking butt) "Workshop" program (Noel was also there).
I had a moment. Let me tell you . . . I was remembering people saying that the emerging church was not complete because we had not developed our own training systems. It occurred to me that we were doing just that today, although it was more collaborative and integrated to the old than many people had expected. Its is not as if the emerging church is rebelling and wanting to start their own programs away from and in reaction to the traditional/conventional church (a la Reformation) but rather, the WHOLE CHURCH IS THINKING THROUGH TRAINING FOR MINISTRY IN THE EMERGING CULTURE and it is involving all of us in that discussion. very cool !!!!!
The other thing was this. The training system we were envisioning and are creating has all the emergent elements - bottom up, lots of feedback, local activity influencing global environment, structure happening down the road at the right time in response to culture, etc. anyway, i feel it was a great 30 hours spent.
Now i have to make a curry. I have a good friend coming over tonight - Joe Parker - i havent seen him since our wedding - he was the best man. He has been living in Vienna, heading up the Central Europe part of International Bible Society.