The Bishop’s Leadership Conference is designed to empower lay and clergy teams from our congregations to learn and plan together for the development of their congregations. This means the simplest answer to the question of who to bring is – a team! But maybe you would like some guidance on who to bring. Here are some things to consider as your congregation figures out who should come.
Leaders: Consider inviting congregational leaders who would benefit from the development of a common language around the work and ministry they are called to do in your community of faith. Depending on factors like your congregation’s size, structure, and resources, you might bring a whole ministry group that needs to do some work together, or choose to bring a team of folks who lead in different parts of the life of your church to learn and cross-pollinate together.
Vestry/Bishop’s Committee Members: If your Vestry or Bishop’s Committee is a body that does primary vision and strategy work for your congregation, consider including a few folks from this group in your team. The conference’s focus on size and discernment toward growth is a great conversation starter with your visionaries and strategy folks, and it is a wonderful opportunity to encounter some frames and a common language that can focus conversations about where God is calling your congregation to go together.
Potential Leaders: Are there people in your congregation who are being developed as leaders, even if they do not have formal leadership roles currently? The Bishop’s Leadership Conference is a great place to get them excited about leading, and begin to prepare them for whatever ministry God is calling them to explore.
What about folks who went last year? If you have people who are dying to return for another round of the Bishop’s Leadership Conference, by all means let them come. However, we recommend a balance – there will be plenty of new content as well as fresh takes on some of the core ideas that are healthy to return to over and over again. Returnees can help first timers learn the ropes. However, do keep in mind each congregation is initially limited to 10 participants and that there are deeper development opportunities for leaders, such as the College for Congregational Development, that can invite your leaders who enjoyed the conference last time around deeper into the leadership and development practices that are introduced at the Bishop’s Leadership Conference. Ultimately, you know your church and its needs best – take all these things in mind and put together the team that will best serve your context and your congregation.
See you at the Bishop’s Leadership Conference!