I was really bummed when my schedule kept me from attending The Sticks Conference . . . again. It's something I've been wanting to find for a long time -- a kindred fellowship of pastors who serve large churches in small towns.
It's a very unique position -- and needs to be navigated with grace and faith.
"Large church" is a relative term, I suppose. Compared to Willow Creek, Eaglebrook or Saddle Back, we're just small pertaters -- but in Hayward, we're huge.
A small town church pastor cannot operate like a CEO or a rancher. There has to be an ethos of openness and patience. You can't demand. You can't drive. You can't be rigid -- or you will lose the respect of your people.
Anyhow, I am truly thankful that Charles Hill put this conference together -- as it will bless a lot of guys in remote contexts like mine.
Happily, I discovered that the keynote sessions are provided via blog: Here at the Sticks Page. Highlights of each major session are also brought by Tim Stevens.
Thanks Charles and Tim! It makes me feel like I was there with you -- almost :)