Paul S Williams interview, part 2 of 2
Christian fellowship is often wonderful.
But it can be especially sweet when it crosses significant cultural boundaries, bringing together people of quite different ethnicity, context and history for the purpose of seeing God do great things in major global cities.
In early March, John Thomas, City to City's Director of Global Training, spent a week and half in Sydney with church leaders from 4 Australian capital cities as well as 4 leaders from Taiwan and China.
The purpose? To train them in how to train church planters and leaders using the Incubator, the research based, 16 module, 2 year, ministry formation 'mother-load' developed by John, utilising materials primarily from Tim Keller.
The Incubator is a rich feast. It is theologically very robust and stretching, constantly pushing participants to ensure that not only do they espouse faithful gospel theology, but that their ministry design and practice is thoroughly shaped by that gospel theology. And to do that, the Incubator works with a fully integrated adult education paradigm.
Which is where the challenge lies! To equip preachers, practiced at delivering monologues, to instead give space to adult learners, takes someone as skilled as John. We were schooled in being 'learner centred', and using 'learning activities' and 'dynamic reflection' as ways of making sure that the church planters we train are not just knowledgeable, but even more important, skilful practitioners.
This 'Train the Trainer' event was a significant step forward in seeing one piece of a gospel ecosystem flourish in cities throughout the Asia Pacific region.
CEO, City to City Australia
Back row L-R: Murray Campbell, Roger Bray, Gordon Huang, Josh Dinale, Mark Tapping
Front row L-R: Scott Yeh, Andrew Katay, John Thomas, Steven Han, Vina Huang.
Forty three participants from six churches gathered for the Gotham Kick Off Retreat at Springwood, Blue Mountains over 13 to 15 February.
It was exciting to see nine members from the Dalby Presbyterian Church travel approx. 1,000 kilometres to be there, along with their brothers and sisters from four Sydney churches and one church from Wollongong.
City to City Australia's CEO, Andrew Katay, opened the retreat by welcoming participants and framing the program as an intensive experience to study, explore, debate and reflect on those things at the heart of a Gospel Dynamic, which shapes the whole of our lives.
"This is not just a program, this is an experience, covering heart renewal, community renewal and cultural renewal."
Andrew also welcomed the Australian Centre for Faith's principal sponsor, Reventure, represented by CEO, Lindsay McMillan and City to City Australia's Chair, Wendy Simpson, both of whom shared the crucial nature of bringing a Christ-focussed perspective to the marketplace of our work lives.
Those who will be taking up Gotham this year represent a wide variety of careers and industries, including teaching, medicine, para medical, youth work, engineering, business development, sales, electrical contracting, IT, Not for Profit management, accounting, agriculture, agronomy, administration, small business, law, data analytics and community development.
To learn more about Gotham for your church, contact Gabriel Lacoba at email@example.com