Reflections on the Bold Moves Conference
28 February – 2 March 2018
This was my first GCM conference and it was the best organized conference that I have attended with our organization. I liked that it was global and I could meet people from around the world. I liked how practical it was – writing down the next steps and emphasizing what the Lord is saying and how he is leading. I liked all the talks and the workshops. [Eastern Europe]
The 4 clear themes, the women time, the best practices (huge impact to have had Joey and his wife in person). [Latin America and Caribbean]
Seeing best practices, big challenges table times, clear directions of how to take notes and put ideas into the notebook. [Central Asia]
I liked learning a new process together to find a solution to a Big Challenge. Best practices to learn how others trusted God and made progress. [Southeast Asia]
The Bold Moves Conference was designed and executed by a highly-competent and highly-committed team from Albania, Panama, Australia, the Philippines and the USA.
Eventually, there were 229 participants from 89 countries with 17 cancellations due to visa difficulties or other issues. Among these participants, 51 were women representing the highest number of engaged women leaders in the history of Global Church Movements. The meeting was held in Manila, Philippines at the Crimson Hotel in the Alabang area.
The conference theme was Bold Moves: It is Possible. There were daily subthemes of:
- 4G :: Boldly Multiplying.
Achieving multiple streams of 4th generation church multiplication in every country)
- 1:1000 :: Boldly Expanding.
Establishing a church accessible to everyone, in every village, neighborhood, high-rise and digital space)
- 1:1>2 :: Boldly Partnering.
Intentionally engaging kingdom-minded partners in a -led paradigm to share in the mission.
- 50X :: Boldly Leading.
Becoming a movement leader, a leader of leaders with a goal of every GCM staff influentially leading 50 other leaders.
The conference was designed with these values in mind:
- This conference should focus on problem solving, identifying and overcoming the big challenges and barriers limiting our 2020 goals.
- This conference should intentionally engage women leading church multiplication. This was not conceived as a “wives’ track” but designed to engage those leading church multiplication.
- This conference should intentionally welcome key leaders and partners who are not GCM staff. Key denominational pastors and leaders, partner organizations and key volunteers were fully engaged in all aspects of the conference, including problem solving and identifying best practices.
- This conference should catalyze and energize the “wisdom in the room.” The focus should be on engaging the participants rather than plenary presentations.
- This conference would not have live reports but would use video to capture the best practices each region of the world is learning in a compelling story format so that the knowledge is most easily transferable throughout our global movement.
- A leadership development process would be used to tackle 3 big challenges. Identifying pathways to overcome these challenges would be important. But equally important would be helping global leaders with a systems-thinking approach to creatively and collaboratively overcome barriers.
Extensive discussion opportunities focused on best practices and an immersive, 6-hour problem-solving exercise. All participants engaged on one three wicked big challenges:
- How do we achieve multiple streams of 4th generation in every country?
- How do we expand our scope to achieve a church for every 1000 people in every country?
- How do we partner in new and more effective ways to effectively engage all the kingdom laborers in every country?
These responses are common in the evaluations received:
- Daily 20 minute introductions by our Vice President Bekele Shanko set the tone for each day. The combination of current reality based on observations from the 2017 reports related to the day’s sub-theme and future vision delivered every morning in the context of the daily theme for the day was very powerful.
- High level of participant engagement. Every hour there were new and meaningful discussions.
- Highly integrated conference. Many have commented on how integrated the conference was around the overall Bold Moves theme and the daily Bold themes. Pastor Dale Hummel of Wooddale Church led daily times with Biblical truths around the sub-themes.
- Best practices discussion. Each morning, video and live presentations were visionary and demonstrated how others had overcome faith barriers to move forward in multiplication, scope, partnering and leading.
- Big Challenges. This immersive experience in collaborative problem solving based on the popular TED Talk How to Make Toast [See the website DrawToast.com] was mentioned by many as one of the more meaningful opportunities to engage with other leaders in a way that gives them confidence, a practical plan and hope that these barriers can be overcome.
My prayer for weeks before the conference was from Luke 19 as Jesus expresses his love for Jerusalem. He laments that “you did not recognize the time when God visited you.” I felt God wanted to visit Bold Moves participants with a fresh breath of the Holy Spirit and a renewed vision and tools to overcome barriers. He wanted to invite us to closely follow our God who is boldly moving towards “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all the people groups (nations); and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)
My prayer was that we each would recognize the time when God visited us in Manila.
My prayer was overwhelmingly answered. There is a renewed dependence, vision and commitment. We have identified the big challenges. We have discussed the threats. We have developed pathways to success. Participants departed saying, “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.” (Acts 4:29-31)
- Bold Moves Resource Library. Contains powerpoints, videos, other resources.
- Bold Moves Photos. Contains sanitized photos that can be distributed.