Conferences may look a little different in the pandemic year of 2020, but they are still important for ministry leaders.
Being a part of an equipping event helps a church staff member or team leader stay fresh, stay sharp, stay connected, stay faithful and stay grounded.
Conferences, in person or digital, are great opportunities to work on each of these:
The ideas are always numerous when you attend a conference! You see how another church or ministry leader operates. You get a glimpse of a building and ideas for welcome, traffic flow and organization. Seminars, breakouts and presenters almost always give attendees something new to think about – or some new twist on the basics. When you meet together in a ministry conference, there’s a certain level of expectation because you’re not leading! You have the opportunity to sit back, soak in and get a fresh perspective.
Conferences help a ministry leader stay sharp partly through the emphasis on content. Of course, you read all the books and blogs and those are helpful too, but a focused couple of days at a conference helps you take big strides and forces you to learn new things. Additionally, being around other like-minded leaders helps sharpen a person. We don’t want comparison or unhealthy competition in ministry, but being around others helps model for us things we’d like to change in our own lives. It helps sharpen us. Sometimes I will be talking with a friend I haven’t seen in a while and they will just mention some new discipline or habit they been sticking with and it will inspire me to begin right then and there! Finally, when you return to your ministry role from a conference, you have the opportunity to remember what you’ve learned and tell others. All these things together keep a ministry leader sharp.
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Conferences help keep you connected. First of all, it’s a great idea to always attend with others from your church. As you travel together (or these days, watch together) you’re able to build deeper friendships with one another. Attending ministry conferences also allows you to see others in your tribe whom you may not see very often. I always enjoy bumping into friends from other parts of the country or from my Asbury days when I attend national conferences. One last benefit is the connections you make with new folks….from connections with speakers, leaders and presenters to random people you just might bump into, making new friendships and partnerships.
I believe conferences help a person stay faithful in ministry. First of all, they are often a break from the usual routine, which helps keep the pace for the long haul. Additionally, I often come away renewed, refreshed and inspired to keep going!
Though gathering for large conferences often include big production and amazing components, there is a grounding that we often come away with. The first thing we realize is there are lots of other leaders just like us trying to do their best to serve the church and follow God’s call. We’re not out there alone. The second thing that helps us stay grounded is the realization in all the cool conference production and creativity is that our church back home has us. We’re called to serve there – in our congregation and in communities. Our church doesn’t have the opportunity to have all those leaders! In a sense, they are stuck with us (in a good way) and us with them. For now, we’re working together to be a light in our corner of the world for Christ. It’s a good feeling to know we’re away for a conference, then back to jump into the hard and fun work of serving together.
We’re hosting the #Awakening2020 Worship Conference next week and it’s not too late to join! This year’s conference is all digital and all registration fees have been waived! Register here.