Had an absolutely awesome time in Houston... I will be posting some more pics tomorrow (got back at around 5pm this evening after 12 hours flying)... I will be posting more about the conversation/plans re. a Global learning trail for Emerging Churches as they develop... basically the state of play is that we are exploring drawing together network of communities that will 'contract in' as places for mentoring and learning... there will also hopefully be no distinction between "students" and "experts" rather that we all have the opportunity to learn from each other (young and old, experienced and new)... this would not be a 'course', nothing so 'modern' more an interconnected family of communities that intentionally seeks the entrepreneurs in our midst and seeks to mentor them and to enable them to explore different dimensions and experiences... and to learn from them and each other (possibly with meta-mentors to help guide learning) . I love the way we are going with this, it seems to play into the strengths of community and into the Global network, rather than trying to establish national frameworks which cut across the natural networks and conversations... or to build programmes based on someone's view of what an 'emerging church leader' needs to know! I honestly struggle with some of the imposed networks, whereas this was one of the most natural and valuable experiences of my ministry. I am extremely grateful to Karen, Jules and Shannon for getting this thing together and to all those who took part; especially to the community of Wellspring, Tomball, Texas... who offered the most amazing hospitality and welcome (and for the privilege of leading them in communion yesterday) Ken, Becky, Juli, Rod and community... many thanks - again! I now have a new family five thousand miles away! I hope we get the chance to visit again! And to HBU for the opportunity to share with their students something of what it means to be an 'emerging/missional community'.
I was asked to be part of a small design team (Mark and Daniel from Kubik, Karen, Shannon and Brad Sargent) for further exploration... primarily to establish a 'Foundation Story" for the network/learning trail... then to begin to flesh out some of the bones/draw out the values that have been expressed in the conversation. We hope to meet in Germany with Mark and Daniel from Kubik sometime in the new year to coax the story further. It was an added bonus to be able to meet the Jones' better half! Debbie is a gem... and a wise one at that! On a personal note... I had a great time in Aggieland even if the result didn't go our way, it was what you could call a baptism of fire in American Football terms... add to that Texan Dancing, Texas Hold 'em Poker, a real US Tailgate, meeting one of the most experienced Astronaughts in the world (Joe Tanner) and eating serious Texan Beef!... you could say it was a cultural revelation!
As you can see I had a good time... and am excited about what might grow from this new network... if you feel that your community could share this vision (we dream of a truly Global learning trail)... or want to know more E-mail me and I'll keep you up to speed of all developments. We'd also value your prayers (and thoughts) as we move forward together in this.
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