A few weeks ago I had the chance to fly out to Minneapolis and join Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, Tim Keel, Tim Condor, Nadia Bolz-Webber and others in teaching a church planters academy. The event was “to equip and encourage those desiring to start new churches in fresh and entrepreneurial ways.
- For those who are starting new churches.
- For those who are exploring starting a new churches.
- For those who’ve already started churches and want to gather with others who are doing the same.”
My general impressions:
Doug and Tony know how to put on an event. Organized and fun, the time was also encouraging and instructive with plenty of interaction built in. It really was a learning community.
While most both in attendance and speaking ranged from my general theological neighborhood to so far down the block to my left that I trouble seeing them from where I stand, I felt the whole tone was respectful of people wherever they were at theologically (including those further to the center/right like me). I was stretched in good ways and feel like I was also allowed to be stretching of others.
Doug and Tony are both master facilitators. I was especially impressed with Tony’s ability to manage a conversation without overlaying his own agenda on it and really drawing out of his conversation partners what they think/feel and want to say.Tony and I are frequent “disagreement partners” on the internets. 🙂 But that didn’t stop him from welcoming me and hosting me in his home. Doug and Tony both have always impressed me with their hospitality and graciousness.
I hope they do this event again and would encourage people looking for either a general on ramp into the church planting discussion or encouragement along the way to attend. I think you’ll be glad you did.