Most of us in ministry have gotten used to going to conferences and workshops over the years. There is often worship, media, and a variety of speakers. We sit in a main session or even a breakout session listening to someone talk. This person is often a subject matter expert (or at least is presented as one). Occasionally, the breakout speaker allows a few minutes at the end for Q & A, or is available for conversation when the session concludes. If we were completely honest, we’d all admit we actually apply very little of what we’ve heard when we get back home. Do you know what I’m talking about? Have you experienced this?
This learning environment works well for some, but most of us wish we could do two things to better learn and actually put into practice what we’ve heard when we get back home. Here they are:
(1) We wish we could actually ask questions and get our questions answered.
At too many conferences, there is WAY too much time spent just listening to someone speak with very little time spent interacting over the subject matter. More questions are often raised than answered. We walk away with a few ideas and some good notes, but we don’t get to discuss what to do with those notes and ideas. How do we get our questions answered? How do we allow for discussion? What happens when the conference ends?
(2) We wish we could network with other actual practitioners.
We wish we could share enough about our own settings, contexts, and environments in order to truly figure out the application side of what we just heard. We wish we could network with others who are “in the same boat” in order to hear what they have done and not done. We want to hear what works and what doesn’t. Do we have enough time to network with others? How do we find the people who are dealing with similar issues and challenges? Is there time built in to network?
The Neighborhood Collective National Gathering addresses these two things.
Yes, we will have some main speakers. Yes, there are breakout speakers and topics. But, the two days at the National Gathering are designed to put people together where best practices can be shared, where ideas can be swapped, where questions can be answered, where discussions can be fostered, and where true networking can occur. These are two days worth investing, because of the benefit for the rest of the year.
Here’s the beauty of the Neighborhood Collective National Gathering.
The true beauty of the Neighborhood Collective is in the relationships that continue after the National Gathering ends. There are ongoing conversations, phone calls, emails, and texts after we all go home. There are relationships built, and best practices swapped. This is is not a one-size-fits-all approach to neighboring. This is the chance to build a network that can have lasting impact in your life, your church, and your city.