Yesterday we held a review meeting including participant responses to the New Kind of Preacher Forum. No response mentioned the clicker, roof leaks or car crash outside! Actually, it was thrilling to see responses to various questions. One asked: How did you hear about the NKP Program ? and one person wrote: 'Carol Quicke grabbed me by the arm and pulled me over to the laptop to register'. What did you find most interesting/surprising about the information presented today? gained a large number of replies like: 'It wasn't another "technique" conference! It was refreshingly encouraging to hear a new focus not just for preaching but for our churches', 'Being drawn to God or driven by ministry', 'The idea that God is doing a new thing that we cannot now know, only discern'. 'If I am to be a transformative preacher, I must be a transformed person'.
Of course, there were sections asking what they would like in future forums, where could the forum be improved and who could we invite to the next one. It was immensely rewarding to see the honest engagement in it all. We learned much.
The most critical outcome, however, concerned potential new facilitators and participants as we seek to set up more groups. I think I knew we would not be overwhelmed! Commitment to a group involves $1000 with a two-year covenant and facilitators have a rigorous training program before leading one of these groups. But, there are a few good signs. Lauren and I commented how the Lord always loves to work with mustard seeds where he can give surprising growth. Our President, Karen, independently reminded us of what can happen with loaves and fishes. So the next stage of the NKP climb looks ahead to nurturing mustard seeds and multiplying loaves which - of course - is largely out of our control. The need for prayer remains urgent.