Many members seem to be unsure about the difference between House Church “Seminar” and “Conference” for pastors. You attend “seminar” only once, and this is for any pastor interested in knowing what house church ministry is. But once you have completed the seminar, now you are permitted to attend the “conference.”
Since the majority of the pastors that come to the conference are already doing house church ministry, the conference provides continual learning and course correction through interaction with other pastors, courses and presentations. Simply put, the seminar is where you get information about house church, whereas conference is where you get coaching.
I read somewhere that many churches get nervous when their pastors attend a “church growth” seminar. Because pastors tend to start a new program after the seminar. But if he goes to a different seminar, he quits the previous program and starts a new one. As this continues, members get weary of pastors attending seminars or conferences.
However, all churches that do house church ministry share Three axes and Four pillars as the common foundation of the ministry system and philosophy. So what we learn from the conference only reinforces our existing ministry instead of uprooting it. There is no need to be nervous about your pastor starting something completely different after each conference 🙂
It costs money to attend the house church conference. But attending it is crucial for our church to remain steadfast in house church ministry and helps me stay focused on the right track. So don’t think of it as the pastor’s expense. It is our church’s collective investment into “our” future. KSC graciously decided to continue covering the registration fee. ESC started supporting my flight tickets this year.
The conference happens twice a year, and Jennifer is attending with me this time. We learn many things, but my expectation going into the conference is always to learn “one thing” to apply after the conference. Like a weekly sermon, our life is more likely to change if we stick with one application for the week instead of trying to do too many. If this blog post helped you better understand the importance of the conference, please pray that we would learn humbly and travel safely during this conference.