Saturday, June 21, 2014

There and Back Again

Last week was a whirlwind for me (Nate). WorldVenture hosted a Global Summit in Estes Park, Colorado that I was able to attend. This was an organization-wide conference to discuss changes that are happening and to offer input on how these changes would be implemented. This post could go really "inside baseball", which in turn would make it really boring. So instead, I want to offer a few quotes, ideas or themes that really struck me from this conference.

1. The Pastoral Difference
The CEO of our organization gave the initial greeting/message when we all arrived and one idea he offered really struck me. We were talking about the concept of ethos and who were as a community. He said that as a leadership team, they are a community of shepherds doing organizational leadership, and not managers. This concept resonated with me. I think we often see organizational leadership within the church that grabs whatever is popular or trendy within the corporate management world and pulls it into the church. To hear that instead they see their roles as pastors and shepherds first and managers second, was very powerful to me.

2. Encouragement is Gold
This whole week was spent with people who have become my peer group. There were so many times sitting around a circle or at a meal and asking questions like, "what is the visa process like for you?" or "how do you convert money into the local currency?" (our first answer is a lot more interesting than our second) was so encouraging. Having people to compare notes with about language learning faux pas and cultural differences that you have come to love and cherish, was something that was very special.

3. The Home Office
Every organization has invisible walls. Accounting never talks to anyone, or IT does their job through magic and no one is allowed behind the curtain. For us, the biggest wall is between those that are spread across the globe and those that serve in our home office. Everyone is aware of it, but these sorts of events can bring divides to the forefront. The great thing was to see these walls continually torn down and understanding and care to be built in their place. There are many people in ministries and organizations across the globe that work hard in obscurity so that the world of God can move forward.

4. Setting Matters
This conference was held in Estes Park, Colorado. If you have never been there (it was my first time), I cannot explain how beautiful the setting was. Longs Peak stood majestically in the distance and all around were beautiful mountains and rock faces. It created a restful and God focused atmosphere for us to meet (even though we spent most of our time inside in meetings or fighting jetlag).

All this to say, I was encouraged at what God is doing through WorldVenture across the globe. We are excited to be a part of what God will do through her to reach the nations.

YMCA of the Rockies

Hearing from the WorldVenture leadership team

Local wildlife