4D2012 Leadership Conference
Emerging Trends, Enduring Truth
Speaker: Mark McCrindle
As a skilled demographer McCrindle brought an eloquent, at times amusing, at times overwhelming, barrage of trends and data. These insights particularly encouraged and challenged our practice of mission as Churches. Mark showed how 75% of Australians are warm or neutral to the Christian faith, we ought have more confidence in sharing the Gospel with those around us. He also presented how poorly Australians perceive the Church, although they may not have experienced the Church directly. As Churches we have some ground to make up in meaningfully engaging the community around us. Mark’s overall insight and call was to continue working hard in effective engagement. The Gospel content is non-negotiable, but he called us to not make our styles a virtue, these are negotiable.
The 25 workshops were led by highly capable leaders from 21 different Churches - an indicator of the strength of our Churches’ capacity. These sessions provided delegates excellent leadership and skills development. One attendee concluded this 4D conference was her best yet because of the workshops she attended. The spaces between sessions were also highly valued. The 4D conference for many is one of the few opportunities they have to connect with leaders from other Churches for support or resourcing.
Thanks must go to the staff and volunteers who made the 4D2012 conference happen. From 7am through to 6pm, they worked consistently and tirelessly to provide smooth organisation, delicious food, a great day.
Mike Mills in thanking Mark McCrindle captured the two themes held in tension through the day: our challenge as Churches to effectively engage a society changing at a rapid pace; and the wonderful truth that it is not by our endeavours, but indeed it is Jesus who will build His Church.
The worship, led by the Rick Brockbank and the Rostrevor Baptist Worship Team, captured this second theme well as they held before us our confidence in Christ. Mark McCrindle stated regarding the day, “this from a human perspective seems pretty light weight, Christians gathering on a Saturday in a Church chapel to talk about Church business. But it turns out we are engaged in the most powerful thing we can be as humans and that’s God’s work in redeeming the souls of humanity”. In the midst of emerging trends and changing times, pray our leaders and Churches will discern and keep in step with all Christ is calling us to be today so we can effectively be about His great redeeming work.