Monday, May 4, 2009

Sharing About a Recent Trip to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

No, I did not fall off the earth, but I have not been at the keyboard much during the recent weeks, which has been a busy season of ministry. Saturday night in the midst of the major storms (those that destroyed the Dallas Cowboys practice facility), I returned from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania where I keynoted the Disciple 2009 event for Evangelical Congregational Churches. The event was jointly sponsored by the denomination and Navigators.

It was a joy to reconnect with my friend, Don Graybill national co-director of The Navigators Church Discipleship Ministry. While most know Navigators for their collegiate or military contexts of ministry, they are seeking to be effective in helping churches develop effective systems of disciple-making that reproduces disciple-makers. I was also privileged to meet John Radcliff, who serves on the Church Discipleship Ministry team of Navigators. John was the very capable point person for the jointly sponsored Disciple 2009 event.

Bishop Kevin Leibensperger extended an invitation some months ago to join their denomination in this event designed to help churches ensure their intentional disciple making processes are effectively missional in posture. Workshops throughout the day were designed to address congregations that were at different places in the process:

Track 1 – Launching Life-to-Life Discipling
Track 2 – Become Decidedly Missional
Track 3 – Enhancing Your Disciplemaking
Track 4 – Coach for Multiple Generations of Disciples

One of the workshop sessions in Track 2 was led by Rev. Mike Sigman, President of Evangelical Theological Seminary in Myerstown, Pennsylvania. Having formerly served as Bishop prior to moving into his role as President of the seminary, Rev. Sigman has become a strong advocate of a missional posture. Sharing that vision with Bishop Leibensperger, it is with great hope that I watch the activity of God among this denomination of churches.

As serendipity, Bishop Leibensperger shared in the final session a closing phrase that is almost always repeated as calls conclude with his personal coach, who turns out to be my friend, Tom Clegg. The Kingdom of God is huge in one sense, but still small enough that I wanted to sing “It’s a small world after all.”

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