I decided to wait a few days before posting the gleanings I brought back home from last week's Wesleyan Pastors' Gathering in Jacksonville.
The real take home points are the ones that stick. Here are the insights that stuck with me:
1. There's a time for doing, a time for designing and a time for dreaming. When your schedule is packed with doing, there's little time for dreaming. The urgency of pastoral ministry pulls us into doing -- but if the leader doesn't do the dreaming, who will? (Gary McIntosh)
2. The significant factors shared by young people who have sustained spiritual strength are
a. The spiritual vitality of their parents.
b. Significant friendships with adults who share their faith.
This reveals the importance of cross-generational ministry and equipping of parents. (Christian Smith)
3. Over 80% of the U.S. population lives in cities, while the majority of Wesleyan Churches are in small towns and rural communities. What is the responsibility of the rural church to the city? (JoAnne Lyon).
4. Who are the old men that young people like? Why do they like them? How can I grow to become an old man like that? (Gordon McDonald)
5. There are ways of doing church that no one has thought of yet. Are we doing ministry out of memory or imagination? (Mark Batterson)
6. When we start protecting what we like, we stop pursuing what He loves. (Keith Loy)
7. Do for the one what you wish could be done for the many. (Kevin Myers)
8. Regarding missions suppoort: What is our beef? our main dish? One or two specific targets, callings? The rest of it can be defined as carrots, potatoes and onions. (Mick Veach)
9. Sometimes we're called to do what we'd rather not. It's a matter of mission, not personal comfort. You must do hard things to do great things. What calls you forth? The key question is not "Are you enjoying it?" but "Is God enjoying it?" (Brenda Salter McNeil, Wayne Schmidt, Kevin Myers)
10. There is a definite connection between beauty and worship. What can we do to intentionally bring beauty into worship and ministry? (Gordon McDonald)
Bonus: To resolve feelings, get off the facts (events that cause a negative reaction.) Arguments are like opposing counsel making a case -- but resolution doesn't happen that way. (Michael Smalley)