Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Release12 Summary

One of the amazing views from Tagaytay (just outside Manila)

Me with the Ugandan Flag

Location: Manila, Philippines
Dates: July 4-14, 2012
Conference Theme: Engage. Entrust. Release a New Generation
Conference Goals: 
1. Hearing from God Together
2. Connecting and Empowering a New Generation of SLM leaders
3. Advancing our Mission
4. Partnering to Reach our scope

One of the goals of the conference was to hear from God together. The organizers of the conference made it clear that they did not want all the content to be preprogrammed. They wanted to leave space to hear from God as we chart a direction forward. To that end, and hour was given each day to hear from God from the book of Acts. This was taught from the front by a teacher, as well as given time around tables to discuss what God was teaching us. I found this to be very refreshing and an important part of the conference.

Meeting some students from Manila
We also got to spend a day meeting with student leaders from various catalytic campuses around Manila. We got to ask them questions and hear their heart for their campus and the world. It became obvious that the students owned the vision of Campus Crusade. They also owned the responsibility of reaching their campus. They were empowered to lead, and many more campuses have been reached as a result.

Another great aspect of the conference was being able to meet other SLM staff from different countries. At all of our sessions, we sat around tables and got to know one another. There was also time to meet during meals and free time. I got to hear about other successes and difficulties from various countries. We also spent time praying for each other in community groups.
South and East African Conference Delegates!

At the end of the conference, Ken Cochrum shared a new worldwide SLM vision of establishing Student-led Movements on 50% of Student Population Centers. We are currently on about 25%. This vision will best be met through catalytic movements and partnerships with other like minded Christian movements.

What I Learned
I was personally very blessed to be able to attend this conference. I came away with a fresh vision of reaching campuses, especially by catalytic means. I need to entrust more  leadership of the local movements I am part of to students. This catalytic method was modeled by the Apostle Paul, and was the method by which the early church grew.

I was also reminded that I need to focus on prayer, reliance on the Holy Spirit, and preaching the gospel. These are the most important things to focus on. Strategies will come if I keep these things primary.

Also got to face a fear and hold a young crocodile!