So I’m taking a break from studies this week and attending the A2 conference hosted by Willow Creek near Chicago.
This is the first time I’ve been to the Willow Creek campus and it is impressive. It shows what can be done when a church decides to impact their community with excellence. Much more can be said, but as a conference attendee, I am having a positive experience.
The most impactful session of the day was the first given by Bill Hybels. Hybels seemed to be suffering under some low-level bug (is this the same one from August?), but he rallied well and spoke on leadership. Charging that pastors are just like industry managers, they will take ideas from conferences (such as this) and decide that those ideas need to be implemented whole cloth into their own ministry back home. They will do all of this without the hard work of determining what their real needs are, what God has given them, and if this solution really fits at all. But the biggest problem is because the ministry leader isn’t really leading out of who they are. They are attempting to lead out of the results of someone else.
Hybels discussed the concept of a “second conversion;” that is, that once saved, a leader can be powerfully impacted by a subsequent encounter with God that may break apart his world and cause him to change his ministry because of it. Hybels used the Biblical example of Peter in Acts 10: the dream and then ministry to the gentile house of Conelius.
It is these “second conversions,” or “second testimonies” that Hybels says marks every leader who has had a powerful and innovative ministry.
The question that is begged is: are ministry leaders willing to allow God to break them apart so that he can put in a vision for the new thing? Of course, my question is: will I let God break me so that I can hear from him?