Our conferences and events are intended to help us catch a vision for God’s plan for the church, take steps in becoming more welcoming, and receive inspiration and ideas from local churches that are unfolding God’s glorious vision in practical ways.
RIDING THE WAVES OF CHANGE
OPEN DAY CONFERENCE HELD ON 29 JUNE 2022
The waves of change have battered the church for many years, gradually eroding our beaches and clifftops. The pandemic increased their size and ferocity. Instead of bemoaning the carnage we see around us, what can we do to learn to ride these waves of change so that we use their power and strength to grow our ability to share the good news of Jesus Christ? That was the question behind the one-day conference held at Adelaide West Uniting Church, 312 Sir Donald Bradman Drive, Brooklyn Park on 29 June 2022.
Video recordings of the speakers are available for viewing below.
Speakers were members of the International Research Consortium (IRC).
Riding the Waves of Change explored how
- churches have attempted to ride the waves since WWII
- to move churches struggling with social change and decline into an effective missional mode
- to assess a congregation’s willingness/likelihood of successful missional change
- leaders create a holding space through liminal movement.
Revd Dr Ian Robinson, Emeritus Scholar in Mission and Leadership, United Theological College in Sydney, presents our Introduction to the Open Day, on how the churches have attempted to ride the waves of change since WWII. Three kinds of response are needed. He observes a large number of approaches that appear to be effective today. He uses interdisciplinary studies to canvas how ‘nuanced leaders can teach others to be nuanced’. Thirdly, we need to move beyond our anxieties and cultural defaults to build shared authentic spiritual practices.
Prof Patrick Keifert, Church Innovations USA, presenting research from the UK, Europe, South Africa and the US, and engagement in Australia, on how to assess a congregation’s willingness and the likelihood of successful missional change as we come out of COVID. This builds on the book Pat recently published with Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, How Change Comes to your Church (Wm. B. Eerdmans, August 2019).
Associate Prof Marius Nel, New Testament, Stellenbosch University in South Africa, presents New Testament foundations for spiritual formation. He will differentiate between individualistic spiritual exercises that often have little value for the mission of the church and Paul’s approach to spiritual formation that is communal, emphasises cognitive change, has an ethical component and is focused on the cross. He reflects on how practices like Dwelling in the Word are practised in the missional church movement in South Africa.
Revd Canon Dr Nigel Rooms, Partnership for Missional Church, Church Mission Society, the Church of England, presents Riding the Waves of Change by holding Liminal Space. In this workshop we will be introduced to a modified version of Otto’s Scharmer’s “Theory U” as a way of understanding how we experience change and discover God’s presence and activity within it. Key to riding the waves of change is how leaders create a ‘holding space’ through liminal movement in a safe enough fashion.