I’ve been getting quite a bit of email from church planters and pastors asking me what I meant by #5 on yesterday’s post (specifically about spending money to go to other churches). As I stated yesterday, I dearly love going to conferences, especially for the networking and spiritual feeding. However, over the years I have discovered that conferences give you a warped speed intro to strategies and structures. It’s really hard to get a handle on them in such an abbreviated and packed atmosphere. Therefore, when I hear about a structure or strategy we might can implement into what God has already called Compass Point to do…we spend the cash to go out to that church and hang with their leaders (I call these “field trips”). There are times it takes months of planning, financial saving and coordinating schedules to make it happen…but it is well worth the investment. I have also found that practicums are really great. They are like two-day mini-conferences sponsored by a specific church covering a specific topic…but limited to a only a handful of church leaders. This allows much better one-on-one time and more intensive learning. They are usually more expensive, but incredibly valuable in the knowledge that is gained.
I guess the main question I’ve been getting is why would Compass Point spend money on learning and training opportunities like field trips, conferences and practicums when there is “real” ministry to do in Lakeland. Because I believe that we need to be investing in people…leaders…not buildings or programs. Compass Point is a relational strategy church…it is important that we properly train and equip our people to do ministry in the areas in which they live. My leaders and staff get more out of one trip to another church…or two days in a practicum…than anything I could teach them (or they could pick up from books, magazines or conferences) in a year.
One other question I have been getting is from folks wanting to know my thoughts on coaching networks. I have many friends that love them and gain much knowledge from them. I myself have not had the pleasure of being a part of one. I was scheduled to be a part of a networking group this past Fall, but had to drop out to care for my father while he was recovering from cancer surgery. I look forward to being a part of one this year…and should have more to share at that time. In the meantime, I don’t think it is appropriate for me to comment on something I know nothing about.