I uncovered in graduate school, and now practice almost every day, the deeply held belief that when adults gather together, “the answers are in the room.”
My favorite adult education professor would tell you “the answers are in the room” means that the rich experiences which shape the lives of adults gives us the capacity for outstanding problem solving and the ability to see into our settings and know far more than we initially deem possible.
At a recent VantagePoint3 Enriching Retreat in Green Lake, Wisconsin, I witnessed this depth when adults work together. More than 40 adults who care deeply about their churches and people, confirmed once again that “the answers are in the room” but much more than this. They confirmed the evidence for the Spiritual Kingdom that is already alive in the hearts of believers.
Let me explain.
At the close of the second full day we were processing together what we were each seeing and learning. I was leading the group through pretty complex layers of reflection on individual spiritual growth, care for others, and care for our church settings. I asked everyone to simply write down on an index card what they were seeing and learning while the session was finishing up. We wrote in silence. Continue reading →
In Eugene Peterson’s memoir, The Pastor, he humbly searches for a word to best describe the ins and outs of being a pastor over time. To that end, he chooses the word, “witness.”
“A witness is never the center but only the person who points to or names what is going on at the center — in this case, the action and revelation of God in all the operations of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” (1)
Not all of us are pastors. However, we are all witnesses to the ever present action of God in our midst. If we but pay attention.
I had the privilege of being a witness at the VantagePoint3 Enriching Retreat in Green Lake, Wisconsin recently. More than 40 adults gathered to consider how they could nurture the spiritual growth of other adults in their unique settings, as well as being interested in growing more deeply and richly and slowly in their own life of faith.
One of the most challenging aspects of Kingdom work is simply “getting people together.” Perhaps this is because when adults DO gather…some significant things happen. Continue reading →
Next month begins a season of Block A training retreats for those who are facilitating The Emerging Journey and The Equipping Experience groups in the fall. For those who are new to VP3, attending one of the Facilitator Training Retreats is the first step in implementing the VP3 processes in your ministry setting. And it is not too late to sign up for one of these practical and ministry-shaping events!
In case you needed some encouragement about the value of the Facilitator Training Retreat, I invite you to read Norm Grube’s comments when I asked him, “Was the Facilitator Training Retreat valuable to your group and to your own spiritual development?” Continue reading →
We are a few months away from an annual highlight on our VP3 calendar The Enriching Retreat. We are gathering at a U.S. location this year, Green Lake, Wisconsin (October 5-7, 2012) for a time of shared reflection and discussion, pause and prayer. Randy Reese and I will be inviting a conversation around the topic of “Guiding Others on Their Leadership Journey.”
For so many of us the Spirit is inviting us to pay attention, to move beyond the work of leading to the work of developing and guiding others as leaders. For others of us we are needing time to slow down and to reflect upon what the Lord is up to in our context and in our person. How can we help our communities pay attention and discover God’s good work with us and among us?
We are excited that this years conversation will flow out of our forthcoming book Deep Mentoring: Guiding Others on Their Leadership Journey (IVP, to be released October 2012). We hope you and folks from your community will consider joining us for this unique opportunity. All of this is offered in the beautiful autumn setting of the Green Lake Conference Center. We are prayerfully looking forward to the conversation that develops at this year’s retreat. Click here for details…
Last week twenty-seven of us gathered together in Sioux Falls for a retreat. By the end of our two days together we realized we were no ordinary group of twenty-seven people. We became a remarkable community of brothers and sisters in need of some space, perspective, words, silence and friendship. The theme for our gathering was “A Sacred Heart.” The hope for the gathering can be heard in David’s prayer, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me (Ps 51:10).
There are no shortage of things that get us entangled and snared along the way of this deal we call ministry. This unusual gathering of saints had plenty of tangles and snares to share, but more so plenty of presence, experience and from time to time a word or two to offer. Continue reading →
This is the time of year that many of TheEmerging Journey groups are beginning to see that the end is in sight, and some in your groups may be wondering, “OK, what’s next?” If that’s the case, let me suggest some “next steps” for your participants and possibly your church in the bigger picture of the VP3 process. Continue reading →
The slogan we use around VP3 is, “Helping You Discover.” It reminds us that we develop processes to help people discover answers to three of life’s most important questions, ‘Who is God?’, ‘Who am I?’, and ‘What does God desire to do through me?’ We believe we have developed some of the best resources available to help people pursue the answers to these questions through a biblical framework. However, we also know it is the good people who take our material–the ministry leaders, facilitators, and pastors, combined with the Holy Spirit, who make personal discovery and life transformation possible. And it is always fun to hear how churches and ministry leaders have taken our resources and creatively applied them in their context. Let me tell you a couple of recent examples. Continue reading →
A walloping great congregation is fine and fun, but what most communities really need is a couple of saints. The tragedy is that they may well be there in embryo, waiting to be discovered, waiting for sound training, waiting to be emancipated from the cult of the mediocre.
This week is the third of four weeks in January, filled with “Block B” Facilitator Training Retreats. Randy and I will have the privilege of being with a group of facilitators at Faith Church in Dyer, Indiana, Monday and Tuesday.
In an effort to both prepare and support in the implementation of The Emerging Journeyor The Equipping Experience, this facilitator preparation process is structured in two retreats: Retreat Block A (usually in June) and Retreat Block B (usually the following January). It is 4.5 days of training that seeks to do at least 4 things for those who participate: Continue reading →
This weekend my good brother in the Lord, Rob Loane, and I will be leading a spiritual formation retreat many of you have experienced at some point in the past called, “Making Space.” Robert will be leading his retreat at Black Lake Bible Camp in Olympia, WA for folks going through the Emerging Journey process in the Seattle/Portland area…I will be leading the same retreat at Sioux Falls Seminary for folks going through the Emerging Journey in South Dakota and Iowa.
The retreat leans into three particular themes…all of which are necessary to walk well and far in the journey. These themes include: making space for God, making space for myself, and making space for others. Simple. Hard. Needed. Continue reading →
This past weekend we enjoyed the Enriching Retreat held in the beautiful surroundings of Banff, Alberta. The discussions were lively, the food fabulous, and the fellowship sweet as we focused on the ongoing need to develop our inner lives and to pay attention to the development of others.