There are some people who never leave their hometown. They see no need to. Ironically, they see no need to because they’ve never left their hometown. If they were to do so, they might see oceans, mountains, forests, sites, and canyons that would take their breath away. Instead, they are “content” to experience never-ending “sameness.” This tempts particularly pastors of smaller churches—as they sometimes prefer the “homeyness” of the small church context to the urban jungle of the broader church world.

It’s good to be thankful for one’s home. It’s another to never leave it. Some pastors I know wear out the road to and from their own church building but never stray from that path. They never go to conferences, have lunch with other pastors, or attend other churches. They see it as a waste of time. I know other pastors who have a slightly larger neighborhood defined by their own tribe. It might be Baptist, Anabaptist, Church of Christ, Calvary Chapel, or Presbyterian. But, it’s clearly their own borough. It’s a good borough. But, it’s still just their borough.

Conference going is an art. That may sound a bit hyperbolic–like, “brushing your teeth is an art.” Yet, I believe one can go to conferences and get little out of them. We can also attend conferences in such a manner they aren’t enjoyable or miss key opportunities for ministerial growth. IContinue Reading