Our Organic Church Movements Conference (January 26-28th, 2007 in Long Beach, CA) is coming together remarkably well.
The conference is at The Grand Event Center in Long Beach CA and includes most meals. The price is $200 ($150 if you are part of CMA) Below is the tentative schedule for the entire weekend. The main sessions are shaping up like this: Friday night (6-10 PM including a full served dinner at 6 PM)
· Neil Cole (author of Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens and Cultivating a Life for God) will speak on: "Why didn't I take the Blue Pill: Speaking Candidly about the Dark side of Organic Church"
· Reggie McNeal (author of Present Future: Six Tough Questions for the Church, Revolution in Leadership: Training Apostles for Tomorrows Church, A Work of the Heart: Understanding How God Shapes Spiritual Leaders, and Practicing Greatness: 7 Disciplines of Extraordinary Spiritual Leaders) will speak about: "Qualities of a Missional Leader"
Saturday Morning (8 Am - 11:45 includes a continental breakfast early and a buffet lunch)
· Alan Hirsch (co-author of The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21st Century Church, and author of the newly released Forgotten Ways: Reactivating the Missional Church) will speak on: "Jesus made me do it. "
· Ori Brafman (co-author of The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations) "Starfish Organizations: the unstoppable power of decentralized movements"
Sunday Afternoon (1-4 PM includes a buffet lunch before)
· Felicity Dale (author of An Army of Ordinary People, Getting Started, and co-author of Simply Church) will speak on: "Mobilizing the other half of the army: Women in leadership roles"
· Wolfgang Simson (author of Houses That Change the World) will speak on: "Thinking prophetically and acting apostolically"
I am, frankly more excited about the workshops that are offered than anything else...
We have tried to come up with the type of conference that we would want to go to, and to learn the things that we would have a driving desire to learn. Then we set out and asked the best people we could find if they'd be willing to come at their own expense and do a workshop. Lo and behold this is who God has blessed us with...pretty cool. Our ambition is a conference aimed at our own practitioners who are out in the field doing the work and needing to learn from each other. It is more upper division courses for the practitioners rather than lower division introductory courses that so many conferences do so well (including our own Greenhouse events). Y'know, as I get older I am finding that one of my own greatest resources is not within me (not my mind, my skills or my chiseled good looks…joke!) but the friends whom I have come to know well from all around the world. This conference is the fruit of having good friends! I am always thinking, "Wow, I wish all my friends could benefit from knowing all my other friends...the way that I have." This is my attempt to make that happen! At the conference, we are working hard to strike an uncharacteristic balance of being a quality/programmatic presentation with a relational/organic experience...I hope we do well with this (it is not easy). That is why we have the meals and some experiential worship stuff around the tables as well as the worship music and some talking heads. It’s all a grand experiment! Here is the way the breakouts will work. There will be four sessions total, two sets back to back each time. After some prayer and some group thinking here is the way the breakouts will be laid out: Sat Round One (12 noon-1:45):
· Alan Hirsch: forgotten Ways: apostolic church planting movements, Part 1
· Neil Cole: Breaking Free from the Institutional Mindset
· Dezi Baker: Transformation of a town: a case study of organic, incarnational impact on an entire town
· Richard Flemming: Marketplace Movements
Sat Round Two (2:15-4PM):
· Wolfgang Simson: Organic Church Finances, Part 1
· Tony Dale: How to hear and discern real prophecy
· Panel Discussion: Transitioning conventional churches to organic churches (four models)
· Carol Davis: The GlobaLocal Church Having an impact on the world from the very start
There will be nothing planned Saturday evening. Everyone is to go out together and enjoy one another's company in smaller groups. Sun Round One (8 AM-9:45):
· Alan Hirsch: Forgotten Ways: apostolic church planting movements, Part 2
· Jaeson Ma: Campus Organic Church Movements
· Panel discussion on Organic Church in the Black community
Sun Round Two (10:15-12 noon):
· Wolfgang Simson: Organic Church Finances, Part 2
· Brad Fieldhouse and Eric Swanson: Transforming Cities from the grass roots
· Debra Hirsch: Organic church and the tough questions of ministry in the gay community.
Wow, these are some of the hottest topics for today and tomorrow, and the speakers each have their own authority from experience. Sprinkled throughout the conference we will have music performed from artists in the movement. A resource table will also be up and running throughout with some of the newest and most profound resources available for organic church movements.
Now that’s a conference I would go to.