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Sheffield Conference - day 3

Mike Breen began the day by showing how Moses was the first major person in the bible to have brought together in himself the two strands of kingdom and covenant.  He received his identity from his relationship with God at the burning bush and then went in obedience (even though it was sometimes grudging) - ie covenant.  But then went in authority and power of God to confront the rulers of Egypt.  Mike explained how the plagues were actually demonstrations of the powerlessness of the egyptian gods in the face of the God of Abraham Isaac and Moses.


The next session was on the square lifeshape.  This is about leading and following.  The idea is that all of us look like sheep from the front and a shepherd from behind - ie in some areas of life/with some people we are leading them but in other places we are being led.  The pattern of leadership shown by Jesus, common the world over and taught in the square is:  I do you watch, I do you help, you do I help, you do I watch.  Maybe of more interest is that when we are following a leader through the stages we start with unconscious incompetence - we are enthusiastic and excited about the vision/opportunity but are unaware of our lack of competence.  That quickly changes when we shift to stage two which is conscious incompetence - we are aware of our lack of competence and enthusiasm can take a battering.  But if we receive good encouragement and coaching from the leader at that point we can begin to move to stage three which is conscious competence - we can do it but we have to think about it.  With further practice we can then move to unconscious competence - where things are automatic.  Just think about the stages of learning to drive a car.


Two of the good, non session things that happened today were that Chris, Lisa and I were able to sit down with Steve Cockram (who I met in Geelong) and talk about our church and where we were up to with learning lifeshapes - we are heading in the right direction, we need to continue to work them out in real situations (not just as a theoretical exercise), and we need to explore forming some mission shaped communities (called Clusters at the church here). 


The second thing was that at the end of the day we had a meeting with all the people from Australia - us three, a couple who will be moving from England to St Matthews East Geelong in August, a team of 8 from an Anglican church in Cottosloe beach WA, and another anglican minister from Scarborough also in WA.  We shared some of the things God has been speaking to us about (being stretched, being encouraged that God was going to renew people who were experiencing some dryness) and we talked about how we can continue to support, encourage and help each other with implementation of what we have learnt when we return to Australia.  From talking to people it is clear that you can't do it on your own.


Anyway that's all for today - we are getting a bit brain dead.

David Wanstall, 12/06/2008