At the beginning of June, our church network (Relational Mission) hosted a Leadership conference. One of our members, Rachel Mulholland, shares her reflections.
At the beginning of June, I attended the RM leadership conference at the Kings Centre in Norwich. The conference lasted from Wednesday to Saturday and included some great teaching from a range of different people, there were amazing seminar sessions and a brilliant Enough prayer night (sessions can be viewed or listened to on the RM website!). The opening talk from Mike Betts was particularly memorable for his coining the phrase #boom!
Aside from the talks, there were two main highlights of the conference for me:
Firstly, I loved having the opportunity to meet new people and catch up with old friends, much of which was done over a drink in the hotel bar in the evenings! Being from a church plant with only a few of us attending the conference, I was able to, or perhaps slightly forced to, meet people from other churches including the various sending churches, as well as catching up with friends from my old church. Another group of people that I enjoyed meeting and chatting to were the people organising the event and serving. As James was heading up the technical team at the conference, I had the opportunity to spend a bit of time to get to know the organisers and other people serving (when they weren’t running around from one place to another – which wasn’t often!)
I wasn’t sure whether I should put this as my main highlight as opposed to any of the talks, or worship sessions, but I think for me it emphasises the fact that relationships and community are a fundamental part of Christianity.
The other highlight for me was when Maurice Nightingale, who oversees church planting in RM, asked everyone who had gone church planting in the last two years to stand up at the front – in front of 700 other people, who then proceeded to give us a standing ovation. Whilst this at first felt rather embarrassing, I felt very touched and honoured by the response. It was also great to see several other people who have gone church planting in various different countries standing at the front alongside those from Colchester. This moment was even more special for me as it was at the leadership conference in 2014 that James and I decided to put our names forward to explore church planting, and we were there two years later having moved house and started the church planting journey.
I can’t wait for the next leadership conference now!