I’ve had some conversations lately with people wanting to start coaching or consulting businesses, and they’ve asked me, “What should I do first? How did Gravity Leadership get started?”
I’ve had to admit to these people that I’m not sure what a good first step would be because our work in coaching and consulting happened somewhat “accidentally.”
Essentially, we were a group of friends who were learning a lot of really painful and important lessons about leadership, discipleship, and mission in our churches. We shared what we were learning with each other, and then with other leaders, and then a few more leaders… and it grew from there.
In our work over the past five years or so, we’ve had the joy of meeting a lot of wonderful, faithful people. People who’ve made incredible sacrifices to follow Jesus and learn to lead like him in their churches, businesses, and families.
It’s been encouraging and inspiring to see so many like-minded Christian pastors and leaders who realize we need a new imagination for leadership right now, and concrete practices to help us lead like Jesus, living on mission, and making disciples in the 21st century.
Looking back, we’re really grateful for what God has done. The Gravity Leadership Community is more than just a list of “clients” for us. Rather, it represents a group of friends and colleagues who’ve started learning together how to follow Jesus today.
So several months ago we began talking about creating a gathering for the Gravity Leadership Community… more of a “family reunion” than a “conference.” Some time and space to gather as friends, old and new, to learn from one another, encouraging one another, and conspire together for further faithfulness and fruitfulness.
So we’re giving it a go: the first ever Gravity Leadership National Gathering, October 26-27, 2018 in Indianapolis.
Here are 4 reasons I’m excited about this gathering, and why you might be, too:
1. We have no big name speakers
We will have exactly ZERO big name conference speakers. Now, I don’t have anything against a conference with popular and dynamic speakers, but I’ve always thought that church conferences should actually be filled with normal pastors talking about what they’re learning in their normal churches.
That’s what we’re going to be doing. Our goal isn’t to amaze or inspire you with an awesome talk (nothing against awesome talks – it’s just not what this gathering is about), our goal is offer a space for mutual learning, where we can glean wisdom for life and ministry from one another, together.
2. We’ll do lots of interaction and collaboration
One of the things that consistently disappoints me about conferences is that there are so few spaces for real interaction with presenters. Even on panel discussions, it often seems to me that we’re just hearing 4-5 people give a brief (or not-so-brief) prepared speech, and then there’s no time left for questions.
We want to flip that on its head. I’d much rather have honest and authentic interaction with each other, where we’re actually listening to each other, open to being changed by the other. So we’re going to try and create that kind of space.
Honestly, we’re not spending hours and hours preparing talks for this gathering. We’re going to offer a few thoughts and then facilitate lots of Q&R, interaction, and collaboration.
3. You’ll have time and space to actually process stuff
Another pet peeve I have about most conferences is that they’re so crammed full of information that I don’t have enough time to reflect on what I’m hearing and do any processing or integration. I know people expect that attendees will do that afterward, but I think I literally never have. Have you?
Anyway, we’re providing space and time in this gathering for processing and integration. We want you to be able to gather with others to process what you’re hearing, to workshop ideas in your context, to think about how you can go back home and actually integrate some of what you’re encountering into your local leadership context.
4. You’ll make new connections
One final thing that (in my opinion) there isn’t enough time and space for in a normal conference is time to develop new relationships. One of the things we consistently hear from people we are training is that they want opportunities to meet others in the Gravity Leadership Community.
Having friendships with others who are on a similar journey matters a LOT. And lots of you have told us that one of the hardest parts of taking the journey of learning to lead like Jesus is that you feel alone in it. So we’re making informal time and space for you to get to know each other, make new friendships that can bring encouragement over the long haul.
There is a power in gathering together with others who are on the same journey. We realize we’re not alone, we’re not crazy (well maybe a little bit), and that we have an opportunity to encourage one another to keep going.
So I hope you will join us in Indianapolis in October! Bring a team from your church. Bring some friends. Let’s see what God will do when we open space for learning, encouragement, and collaboration.
Click the button below for all the info and to get tickets to join us October 26-27, 2018 for the first ever Gravity Leadership National Gathering! (Oh, there are group discounts – bring others!)