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.