Ecclesia National Gathering thoughts

ecclesia Last week I was at the Ecclesia National Gathering and had a fantastic and rich time. To me, this is the high water mark of the ministry year for me. So much formative and shaping moments during these few days.

I told someone that selfishly I’d like to come to the National Gathering to be assured that I’m not crazy for planting a church. But what I find is that when I come I am affirmed that I am crazy – and that the kingdom of God needs cray people to step out and risk it all in planting churches.

Last week I, once again, had my craziness affirmed.

I’m still processing and downloading it all – there’s just so much good stuff that happened (and I’ve got a few other things on my mind at the moment!).

But here are a few initial words I’ve used to describe the time together:

deep, life-giving friendships

kingdom discussions

spirit-sensitive time

challenging and prodding

diverse (among age, gender and types of churches – but we still have a long way to go in the area of diversity)

participatory and collaborative – lots of voices speaking into our time

not flashy or programmatically perfect – which made me love it even more

freeing (nobody is trying to impress other people)

There are a few other fellow journeyers who are sharing their reflections with greater thought and thoroughness than I can offer at the moment.

[1] Fellow Ecclesia board member David Fitch had some great reflections from two talks by Dallas Willard – one on Missional Evangelism and the other on Preaching.

[2] JR Rozko (there are three JRs in the network which, yes, can be very confusing at times) posted his reflections on his blog.

[3] Ben Sternke from Ft Wayne, Indiana shares his reflections as well.

[4] You can also check out other voices in the network – both through personal blogs and Twitter – here.

UPDATE: Here are some good (and provoking) thoughts from Todd Hiestand.

I’m already excited about next year’s gathering.

If  you’re a church planter – or you are thinking about planting a church – consider checking out Ecclesia.