Yesterday, we spent nearly 12 hours getting from Clearfield, PA to our destination in the greater Kansas City area. While our two flights were short (45 minutes to Dulles, then 2 hours to Kansas City), we had a long 4 hour layover in DC.
After our State College District group rented 2 large SUVs, we had a 45 minute drive from the airport (located on the Missouri side of the metropolitan area) to our hotel (in Kansas) where we arrived around 11:00 pm (central time).
Well, our first day here has been a long day so I’ll keep this is short as possible. Today began with pre-institute workshops. Joleen may share from her perspective later, but I went to the “Leadership Essentials” workshop, which addressed practical tools for leading change. It was led by Carol Cartmill and Yvonne Gentile, who wrote Leadership Essentials: Practical Tools for Leading in the Church, which we received as a gift from the publisher (Abingdon).
There were a lot of practical tips and tools in this workshop and I’ll need some time to process them, but in the meantime, my favorite statement from this workshop was by Yvonne, who said, referring to many people’s resistance to change in the church …
Sometimes we get so comfortable in our safe zones that we make stability our idol.
The Leadership Institute officially began this evening with an inspiring worship experience followed by the first of three plenary sessions featuring Adam Hamilton. Adam is talking about 16 leadership principles that he’s learned/experienced in the past year at COR.
Tonight’s presentation centered around the areas of ministry focus, first communicated by the United Methodist Council of Bishops (see the list on this page) and how they are fleshing them out at COR. There was a whole lot to chew on, but just a few quick quotes for now …
Leadership is influencing people to accomplish a common goal.
Being a pastor is the coolest job in the world.
Find the best and the brightest and ask them to consider the call.
Adam believes that the best days of the United Methodist Church are ahead of us. That’s saying a lot for a denomination that has been in decline for more than 4 decades. It’s also a huge statement considering something else Adam shared that blew me away (and inspired me at the same time!): over a 50 year period in our history, more than 18,000 churches were started — that’s one new church every day for 50 years! (you may need to pause to let that sink in). Wow!
Amazing things are happening at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. I’m grateful for their commitment to, not only influencing Kansas City, but also the world, and the mainline church, and the UMC, in particular.
As I said, there’s been a lot to chew on from our first several hours of the institute. We have an even more full day tomorrow before we finish up tomorrow night.
And, as much as we’re enjoying the institute, finishing up tomorrow night will be a good thing — Joleen mentioned at dinner this evening that she was getting homesick. We head out of here pretty early on Saturday and expect to be home around 3:00 or so (thanks to a much shorter layover this time).
Feel free to post comments or questions. Thanks for reading, and thanks for your prayers!