Leadership  and Learning together in Australia

DSC02633Field Strategy Coordinator John Moore invited DSC02627both David and I to participate in a day of learning through the region’s Leadership Development Initiative. This event combined both established pastors and rising young leadership such as Brett Crowther, Aaron Park, Emily Po Ching,  Chang Po Ching,  Charity Kelegai,  Watson DSC02676Po Ching,  Cameron Batkin. Many of these young adults pair with established leaders DSC02631in mentor/protégé’ relationships. John started this initiative as a way of cultivating and empowering young leaders in the region through relationships.

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DSC02528Today David and I had the privilege of providing an orientation to the 365M DSC02519program for people who will be serving as local mentors to the students while in Brisbane area, as well as people who may well be involved in future efforts from the South District that includes Melbourne.

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Lay of the Land

DSC02419We began our day early on the NTC-Brisbane campus. It was a beautiful but crisp morning (Australia’s weather DSC02417resembles very early spring… which meant extra blankets last night in the dormitory since few homes in Australia possess central heat.) Today was dedicated to a number of preliminary meetings to help us get the ”lay of the land” for the students who will be coming to Brisbane for 365M.

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365M “Down Under”

20140730_145359David Wesley and I began a journey to beautiful Australia, with a “short,” 16 hour, flight from Dallas to Brisbane. The purpose of our trip was to provide 20140730_070721an orientation to the 365M program for local leaders and ministers who will mentor and guide the 20140730_145436academic process of the certificate program. 365M serves students interested in learning about culture while engaged in ministry, often in global contexts like Australia. Previous 365M students engaged in contextual learning in places like Ireland, Kenya, New Zealand, Brazil, and other creative access countries. Our goals include meeting prospective mentors for the program and visit some of the congregations and local contexts that will shape student learning.

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Mission Paraguay

While taking a vacation from Discipleship Commons, I have been busy on a new blog

KCFC Mission Paraguay



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Remembering, Raising Stones, and Building on the Global Theology Conference

DSC01005Following the end of the Global Theology Conference the work continued in meetings of the International Board of Education, including debriefing the structure and flow of the event.  I am sure that those insights alongside others will help DSC01144in future conferences. In particular there is a deep desire to see how each global region will carry forward the information from this conference to their constituencies. Hopefully the conference will provide an impetus for that possibility and the conversations in those settings influence a future global theology conference.

There are a number of unsung heroes at this event. IMG_20140328_133840_441Greg Crofford with the Africa Region of the Church of the Nazarene recognized (right to left) the invaluable work of the Linda Braaten,  Barb Najarian, and Tammy Condon. Alongside them, the rest of the Clergy Development staff needs recognition: Dana Porter, Carol Rittenhouse, and Stan Rodes. Our several translators, including Phil Rodebush, and particularly Angel Siguir and Simone Twibell need recognition for the hard work of translating not only the conference but two additional meetings (no easy task!).

DSC01525Two unsung heroes were Brad Firestone and Josh Williams who worked tirelessly to update the internet system at the retreat center IMG_20140322_190939_441and the college so that participants could maintain academic and administrative responsibilities… IMG_20140328_174912_504and even report on the conference. Of course, the hospitality of the Good News Center need be mentioned as well.

While there were a number of memorable moments, including times of recreation that actually bonded conference members as much as the times of intentional theological IMG_20140330_112322_666conversation.  The full impact (and mandate) from the conference surfaced Sunday morning as I attended worship at Trinity Church of the Nazarene on the campus of Nazarene Theological South Africa in Mulderdrift. While adjacent IMG_20140330_110041_368to the Good IMG_20140330_113922_690News Conference, the campus reminded me of the deep beauty of this place… and its people. Worship was energetic, testimonies authentic, fellIMG_20140330_122726_278owship deep and a sincere. My congratulations to Reverend Catherine Lebese, pastor of Trinity Church, as the new principal of Nazarene Theological Seminary South Africa on this campus.

IMG_20140330_115645_333Reflecting with Trinity IMG_20140330_115820_227congregation Dr. Dan Copp, International Board of Education Commissioner, took as his text Joshua chapter four as a message for the church but also for the entire conference. Copp IMG_20140330_115726_149described how the nation of Israel crossed the Jordan at the end of Chapter three but then priests returned (returned!) to gather stones that could be raised as an altar and testament to God. Copp noted too often we DSC01059have events and then just return to our lives as if nothing has happened. We need to pause and build an altar to what God has done. He admonished:

“To tell the story and just move on is not sufficient. We need to stop and see what God is doing, pause to reflect on what God has done, to give thanks to God, to know what is to be accomplished, and then move on in the confidence of what God will do… and we will not be the same. “

IMG_20140330_111109_629Dan’s message, and this congregation in worship, reminded me once again that the task of ecclesiology is both global and exceptionally local. We are bound together as the body of Christ, bring our own gifts in response to the grace IMG_20140328_171428_840of God, in service to Jesus, and empowered by the Holy Spirit. May we always remember this place and time in order to steward these days for the sake of God’s Kingdom.

Posted in Clergy, Continuing Education, Discipleship, Global Theology, Higher Education, Leadership, Pedagogy, Practical Theology, Theological Education, Theology, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Global Theology Day Three

DSC01013Day three of the global theology conference began with the same focus on worship as the first two days. While the program noted these times as “morning devotions” in a sense the reflected more the praise and worship of morning “services” as DSC01009young leaders from NTC-Muldersdrift led (physically led) many of the congregation.This remarkable time was also peppered byDSC01014 selected readings in multiple languages including German, DSC01035Chinese, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and other “heart languages” that shaped the participants of our gatherings. Our thanks to Kathy Mowry for facilitating these moments of morning devotion.


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