Thought I'd blog on yesterday's forum. It certainly was an interesting one for me though I must say I had mixed feelings in terms of enjoying it because :
1. I had a bad headache - taking panadol every 4 hours *sigh* It took a lot of energy to focus.
2. I did not know anyone there except one of the presenters (whom I had met almost 2 years ago) and one other participant (one of the senior lecturers in the missions department of Laidlaw College)
3. I felt that most people were not exactly friendly (due to the fact that they had their own cliques, which was fair enough) and I had come alone.
Just a handful made some effort to respond in friendliness to me.
a. A very senior man who was a lay preacher. Rambling on and on (like me! LOL ) when he sat down for lunch which got me confused as i had a headache ...
b. stand up comedian who works part time for his church as one of the preaching team members. (Yup- you read that right - and it was good to chat with him as I had actually been planning to call him next week to chat ... and he when I got back home, I found a letter from him and some brochures that he has sent a few days earlier!)
c. One of the presenters - a lecturer at Otago University (an American lady) - will blog more on her session another time.
d. A younger lady ... who was a visitor from Australia!! :-)
I found out later a possible reaaon - as it was organized by Carey Garduate School with Langham Preaching (former principal of Carey recently moved over to join Langham Preaching) and the advertisement was via a simple e-mail ato spread things by word of mouth, most participants were from the Baptist Churches. 220 people and I think less than 10% were non Baptists.
What was encouraging was that the age range was wide - my impression was that there were people from ealry twenties to their late seventies. Many were lay people and interested in preaching. What however I felt was lacking in this area is that 90% were European Kiwis. A sprinkling of Asians - one Indian guy stood out (but he had a Kiwi accent so I think he must have been born here or came here when very young). Harfdly any PI or Maori. One presenter was a Samoan (I( attended his workshop) and one was a Singaporean Chinese (here 4 years - this is one of the few people I knew - I had him over at omy place one night almost 2 years ago).
One PI presenter (a bishop?) had to cancel at the alst minute as he had to go abroad for a funeral (so his workshop was cancelled)
OK, some more general observations before I have separate posts on each workshop.
The idea of the seminar was more to be a forum than as seminar. All presenters were to be Kiwi for the context (so why was there an American presenter? I guess because she was lecturing at Otago for 2 years?). And it was to be a mix of old proven people and up and coming new people. I thought that was a good idea though I wonder about its effectiveness. More about that in another post ...
I thought that the organizers were trying to fit in too much. 45 minutes per topic was way too little time especially since there was often 10 to 15 minutes for responses (and in one workshop - 3 minutes??!)
The key note address was superb. A friend of mine Nick studied art Carey and speaks highly of him. Now I know why. His name is Paul Windsor and I think that it is a bit sad for Carey Graduate School that he Langham Preaching NZ. But then again I can see that he will be able to do a lot for the school as apart of his wider ministry. Again I will blog separately on his 20 plus minute message.
I bought 5 DVDs of various messages etc (series of lectures) done by Carey lecturers and I hope to view them one day soon. I think that they will help me with my "continuing Kiwi education". From a cursory look at the advert, some of these series were born out of their chapel messages. MBS And STM should consider this idea.
The forum / seminar sparked a lot of thoughts for me and I was glad I pushed myself to ignore my headaches and see it to the end ... including an optional 1 1/2 hour pizza assisted reflection for action time. Simply because it helped crystalize some of the things I have been wrestling with in the area of preaching and leadership development.
OK. off for dinner - another farewell for 2 church members leaving for Perth next week (*sigh* so sad).