Get Yourself to "The Gathering"

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 I have been a pastor for only a few short years. When I started, I had no idea how challenging the learning curves of leading a local congregation in decline would be. Early on, I attended workshop after workshop in hopes of finding answers. Deep down though I was looking for more than answers, I was looking for a group of people who, like me, remained passionate and hopeful about congregational transformation. 

In January of 2006, I attended yet another workshop. It was called “The Gathering.”  There I found it all: the strong, tested, Biblical answers and the hopeful, passionate transformation tribe I had been looking for. After so many disappointments, it felt like coming home. 

I want to encourage you to get yourself to the next Gathering, scheduled for November 12-14 at Anona UMC in Largo Florida. Here are a few more good reasons to go.

Kingdom Goals 
Other events I had attended seemed to emphasize building the institution of a local congregation, building in such a way a congregation could be all things to all people by themselves. What impressed me most about the first Gathering was its emphasis on building God’s Kingdom together. “The Gathering” is passionate people, lay and clergy, from all over the country and all over the world, with simple goals: to encourage one another, resource one another, and collaborate with one in building God’s Kingdom through local congregations. This event and these concepts break down the walls which isolate us based on denomination, congregation size, and cultural differences.
 
Proven Resources and Passionate Authors
I am not exaggerating when I say that I use the concepts or resources I received at the first Gathering on a daily basis. They work. I have recommended them to other pastors who have also seen results. I am also not exaggerating when I say I was energized for months after the event. The speakers are some of the top people in their fields. Their authenticity, experience and faithfulness was inspiring.

In addition to opening and closing plenary sessions, you can choose from 8 difference training tracks, led by the authors themselves. Topics of the plenary sessions and tracks include: 
• Church Health
• Demographics
• Natural Church Development
• Collaboration through Church Multi-sites
• Church Planting 
• Leading Turnaround Churches
• Leadership Development 
• Leader Impact: Focused Living Retreats/Advancing Leaders 
• Spiritual Formation: Pathways to Peace 
• Small Churches - Big Impact
• Church Life: Practical Ministry Issues.   

Great Price and Close to Home
I have seen some might expensive event costs in some mighty far away locations. The cost of The Gathering is only $150. That’s for a three day event and includes your training, lunches and over $100 in resources.

Time is ticking my friend. For more information or to register, go to www.churchsmart.com. I look forward to seeing you there.

Lisa Degrenia

[Lisa is the pastor of Allendale UMC in St. Petersburg.  We welcome her to the CTBLOG!  “The Gathering” will be hosted at Anona UMC in Largo, FL on Nov. 12-14.  A PDF informational flier can be obtained by clicking on the following link: http://congregationaltransformation.com/documents/TheGathering.pdf ]



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