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Tag Archives: conference

Pastoral Gleanings from the Trappists -2012

At the end of my summer vacation each year, I take a week for a retreat on the lovely grounds of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, Massachusetts.  About 60-70 men live there, dedicated to a life of prayer. I love the silence, the singing of the Psalms, the beauty of the landscape, the contrast to my life in New York City. One of the highlights for me continues to be a growing relationship with Father Dominic. He his a former Dominican priest with a PH.D in Thomas Aquinas.He taught at Georgetown University before sensing a call to a greater life of prayer. This led him out of the Dominican order to become a Trappist. He now serves as the prior of the monastery (i.e. the COO, or#2 person). We met each day for spiritual direction and a “conference.” He is engaged in many “un-monastic” things, such as strategic planning, running a business, dealing with. Read more.

A Call to Learn from Leadership Experts AND the Broader Church

I am amazed at how open the church is to learn from some of the best organizations and leaders about how we can more effectively run our churches (e.g. Jack Welch, Steve Jobs, Tony Blair, Jim Collins, Patrick Lenzoni, Disneyworld, etc.). I applaud this. I believe the Leadership Summit (WCA), for example, is a wonderful event and gift to the broader church. What is puzzling, however, is how little attention is given to learn from the Eastern Orthodox churches, Roman Catholics, or the riches of church history prior to the Reformation. We have much to glean from the church fathers, for example, yet I am not sure many church leaders would flock to a conference on their insights for the 21st century church from Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, Terullian, Perpetua, Origin, Athanasius, John Chrystostom and Augustine. We joyfully embrace God coming and speaking to us through a secular business leader. I am not. Read more.

A Call to Learn from Leadership Experts AND the Broader Church

I am amazed at how open the church is to learn from some of the best organizations and leaders about how we can more effectively run our churches   (e.g. Jack Welch, Steve Jobs, Tony Blair, Jim Collins, Patrick Lenzoni, Disneyworld, etc.). I applaud this. I believe the Leadership Summit (WCA), for example, is a wonderful event and gift to the broader church. What is puzzling, however, is how little attention is given to learn from the Eastern Orthodox churches, Roman Catholics, or the riches of church history prior to the Reformation. We have much to glean from the church fathers, for example, yet I am not sure many church leaders would flock to a conference on their insights for the 21st century church from Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, Terullian, Perpetua, Origin, Athanasius, John Chrystostom and Augustine. We joyfully embrace God coming and speaking to us through a secular business leader. I am not. Read more.

Summer Reflections: WCA Leadership Summit

I normally like to write one  thoughtful blog per week. However, due to both vacation and the “pondering” time needed to reflect on the topics below, I am long overdue. I will start with the WCA Summit and finish with my next blog on China and Wendell Berry. WCA Leadership Summit, Aug.6-7, 2009. This was my first summit and I was extremely blessed, inspired, challenged, and encouraged by the speakers and flow of the conference. The gift of Bill  Hybels and Willow to the entire discussion around global church leadership was evident. There are few venues like the Summit to challenge and stretch leaders like this one. I plan to bring our entire staff next year. Concerns: 1. The Slowing Down Omission. The gift of leadership, like all spiritual gifts, has a shadow side and is potentially damaging. I know this only too well!  The fact that we can lead and seize opportunities for. Read more.

Reflections on Singapore Leadership Conference, July 2009

Geri and I have just begun our yearly, summer “sabbatical” rest (our old term was “vacation”). We are in Thailand, beginning to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. Yet we wanted to take a few moments and share with you several highlights from our time in Singapore at the Eagles Leadership Conference where we spent the last 6 days. 1375 delegates (pastors and leaders) from 19 countries attended this very well-run, powerful conference. Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand were the top four countries represented. Geri and I did a plenary session around our story and the main insights of EHS. This was followed by a full day workshop for around 200 leaders, and then 2 shorter workshops around “The Leader’s Spouse (by Geri) and Insights of Monasticism for the 21st Century (me) on the final day.  We were very well-received and felt greatly honored. We also learned quite a bit. The following are a few. Read more.

Abba Anthony, Henri Nouwen and CCDA

Last week I attended and spoke at the Christian Community Development Association conference (CCDA) in Miami. Over 2000 people were in attendance.  The work of John Perkins and CCDA, along with their commitment to racial reconciliation and relocation to live among the poor, helped shape my journey for Christ almost thirty years ago as well as our work here at New Life. Most leaders in attendance are very busy. I also became acutely aware of the growing impact of emotionally healthy spirituality around the country. Both realties concerned me. Then, as I sat in my hotel room one early morning, God came to me through the following:  Abba Anthony received letter from emperor Constantine to visit him in Constantinople. He wondered if he should go and asked Abba Paul who said, “If you go, you will be called Anthony, but if you stay here (in desert alone), you will be called Abba Anthony. “   An “abba’ was someone recognized as. Read more.