Click here for the newsletter podcast version - with extra 'bits'

The value of conversation

As you may know I've been in Texas for a few days at the "Conversations" conference for Bible teachers. This worldwide gathering of new and old friends has been a breath of fresh air. More details can be found in the podcast version of the newsletter. And there is more to come once I have returned home and processed all I heard and learned.

I have a number of ideas swirling around in my mind including a sermon series on Psalm 23, a list of books to read and several international relationships I hope to cultivate.

I can't resist sharing one matter. Evertt Huffard spoke on “Leadership in context”. He laid out a fascinating assessment model for church health. The four elements are (in alphabetical order), Mission, Organisation, Relationships and Spirituality.  Here's my question: Which order would you put them in, and why? I'll share his perspective in a future article. This is just something to get us thinking.

For now - two takeaways: 

Takeaway 1: A reminder of the immense value in bringing learners together

  • Listening to people from different Christian streams speaking respectfully enabled myself and all present to hear from fresh perspectives without being forced into judgment.
  • We do not agree on all doctrines and practices, but we are able to learn from one another.

Takeaway 2: Feeding friendships always pays a dividend.

  • Old friends deserve our time. It was a joy to see Douglas Jacoby, Joey Harris, Steve Staten, and Larry Clipp amongst many others. It gladdened my heart to see them, along with a stab of guilt for my lack of contact over the months. 
  • Having my friends Andy & Sandra Ezeilo with me from the UK made a significant difference also. It's good to feel you are not working in isolation. I'm very grateful for their generosity of spirit. 

I'll expand on both of these in the coming days and weeks.

I hope that this week's podcasts, videos and other materials help you to have meaningful conversations with people - and God.

God bless, Malcolm