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August 2014

Is the Church Too Busy Attending Meetings and Talking With Itself?

Travel Free Learning Article Convention Meetings

By George Bullard

All my life I have loved attending denominational celebration events and conventions. I love least the formal meetings. I love most the networking. I love seeing my friends in ministry and meeting new friends in ministry. It is part of the cultural DNA of my life as a lifelong denominational person. I am a sucker for these gatherings.

But, these days I wonder if the Church needs more of a call to action than a call to meet. Are we meeting too often, talking with one another only, spending precious time and financial resources non-missionally? I am not sure if the new or renewed actions that result from our meetings justify the investment of scarce Kingdom resources.

I say this knowing that fellowship, networking, collaboration, trust, inspiration, shared experiences, and common vision and values are the currency of great movements. Deep relationships can make the critical difference between an institutionalized organization and a synergistic movement reaching its full potential.

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Are Church Camps, Conference Centers Going Away?

  Church Camps
Travel Free Learning Article

By George Bullard

What is your most memorable experience at a church camp or conference center? Write it down quickly before these camps and conference centers disappear.

My first remembrance of Ridgecrest Conference Center in western North Carolina is when I was five years old. I leaned too far over a walkway above a creek, and the girl next to me pushed me in. That should have been a warning about something, but I never figured out what.

My family tells me I attended Ridgecrest every year from birth forward. I even went to college nearby and enjoyed going by it regularly. I also went every time I could in adulthood.

I was nine years old before I made it to New Mexico to the other major Baptist conference center known as Glorieta, which was 13 miles from Santa Fe. I made attendance there a regular habit.

These are but two of the church-related camps and conference centers I have loved during my life. I can recount numerous joyous experiences. How about you and the camps and conferences centers you love?

It is this emotional attachment to place, and the spiritual, inspirational, social, and even romantic experiences that happened at camps and conference centers that cause us to have an unreal attachment to them. Our judgment is often cloudy when it comes to truly understanding their worth and value, and what it takes for them to be vital and vibrant.

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