All Canada 2012 Leadership Conference

April 27-30, 2012
Westdale Reformed Church
Hamilton, Ontario              

For leaders in the Churches, Ministries and Classes of the Regional Synod of Canada

Register online   -    Schedule      -     Brochure     -      Poster    -    Letter sent to churches      -  Overview of Herrington/Taylor Presentations   


On April 27-30, 2012, the Regional Synod of Canada is hosting a Canada-wide leadership conference.

We believe this upcoming event can be a pivotal time for you and your church:  

The theme of this conference isFreed to Lead. This conference is for Pastors, Consistory members, and church leaders ie. worship leaders, bible study leaders, youth leaders.  

Many of our churches and leaders are struggling with declining membership and attendance, with conflicts and a resulting willingness of people to serve in leadership roles, with a lost sense of purpose or vision and a sense of irrelevance in your communities.   While we realize that our future is in God’s hands, He has placed the responsibility for building that future in our hands.  He is depending on you, the leaders He has chosen for His church, to mobilize your church for the mission to which He has called you!  

Do not underestimate your role and responsibility as leaders!        

Is your leadership team faithful and effective?    
Are you united in a shared sense of mission?      
Are you free to discuss areas of disagreement of conflict?     
Do you feel constrained to move the church ahead according to God’s will?     
Do personal issues, church politics, or past struggles hinder your work?      
Do our emotions hamper our ability to deal with the tough issues?  

If your answers to any of these questions indicate that you could do better, this conference is for you, so that you can be for you.

The main conference facilitators are Jim Herrington and Trisha Taylor. A summary of their theme appears below

We will also have:

Please note that the costs are based on participants either commuting or being billeted in homes.

We will arrange hotel facilities for those who desire such at their expense.

The registration form is here.

Main sessions - theme 

The conference will include a two day workshop with Jim Herrington and Trisha Taylor, authors, with R. Robert Creech, of The Leader’s Journey: Accepting the Call to Personal and Congregational Transformation. Herrington is also a pastor, and Taylor is a pastoral counsellor. Their writings have inspired many churches in the RCA to participate in the Ridder Leadership Initiative.

In the workshop, Herrington and Taylor will address the church’s decreasing ability to impact culture with the good news of Jesus Christ. What can we do about it? They propose a radical transformation in how we do church, starting with the church leadership and including systems transformation.

Leadership transformation is focused on deepening our walk with God by committing to radically obey God, especially in fulfilling the Great Commission. Leaders must also strive to live with integrity and to be authentic. The second essential transformation relates to our systems: our synod, our classes, and our congregations.

In churches, for instance, we spend a lot of time planning events—worship services, children’s worship time, choir, etc. We then track the trends, such as worship attendance, to see if we are succeeding. If we aren’t, we try to come up with even better events. If this still does not work we may change our structures. So if worship attendance is not increasing we may start a Saturday night worship service, or if children’s worship attendance is down we may cancel this and move to a Wednesday family night.

The problem with this approach to church revitalization is that it is based on some unspoken “mental models” of church. One common mental model is that church happens at church. Events are planned at the church building, and we invite our friends and neighbours, and we’re disappointed when they don’t come.

Herrington and Taylor suggest that for deep transformation, we need to examine these mental models, and perhaps change them. An alternative mental model they suggested is that church happens wherever two or more believers live, work, or play. They do not suggest that we need to abandon our traditional way of doing church, but rather that we should not constrain the Spirit by assuming that church can only function in a specific way (usually the way we grew up with church). Attend the workshop to learn more and begin to think about your church, classis, or the synod in a new way.