I have asked Shelby Gregg to glean from comments made from those who participated in New Pastors Orientation (NPO) last week from Sunday 22 February to Wednesday 25 February. Over 30 participants and a dozen presenters (from CBWC, Carey, CBM, and CBWC Foundation) were in attendance over the 4 days.
We received constructive comments, analysis and critique, and many who commented that they experienced a great deal of joy, encouragement, and the building of community. Below you will see some of those remarks. We have tried to find a wide representation and balance, and a breadth of participants within our geography.
I would comment on the parts that I was present for this year as a remarkable experience. Faye Reynolds and Dennis Stone led the opening evening, so that people could get acquainted. Faye got everyone to do a face to face 2-4 minute introduction to each other; 30+ people, 15+pairs. She got them going, and had a hard time getting them to stop. Some dear soul reading this is going to say “that’s rather like speed dating”; accurate, but unhelpful. Though I will tell you that as I walked in the room partway through the process, there was an incredible level of excitement, engagement and animation. It was a wonderful atmosphere to begin our work together. Thank you to all presenters and participants; thanks to Dawn Johannesson for co-ordinating all of this on our behalf, and to Shelby Gregg for revising the modules to an electronic form, based on feedback in previous years. If you haven’t had a chance to attend NPO, please talk to Dawn (firstname.lastname@example.org / 604.420.7646) about participating next February.
I have mentioned this before, but I am working on a New Leaders Orientation, which, like the NPO, suggests a resource orientation to the denomination and its work, but also very much teaches (in most cases online) a skill set that is necessary, often assumed, and very much needed in the general leadership of the church. Looking forward to a development on that programme in the fall.
“I think NPO has been a wonderful experience for pastors of all ages–whether you’re first coming into ministry or you’ve been in ministry for a while. It’s been wonderful getting to know who the CBWC is, what dynamics they work in, the different ministries that are involved, and how we work together in this inviting faith, acting in mercy and cultivating leaders. I’ve learned here at the New Pastors’ Orientation how CBWC can equip and resource us.”
“The comment that encouraged me was “I am so glad to see that I am not the only Family Ministries Pastor!” and then this person initiated a lunch together with the other Family Ministry types at NPO! Awesome networking. I was thankful to meet each one of these new workers and be able to let them know that they are appreciated and we are here to help them.”
“Having the evenings available to visit and get to know one another was a great and valuable way of scheduling the time. “
“I found the opportunity to break off into prayer huddles throughout the NPO to be an incredible time to develop deep connections & friendships with other CBWC pastors. I feel that leaving the NPO I now have a few more people that I can continue developing our friendship on the foundation of the NPO.”
“It’s just so much information to take in in such short time…those modules you emailed us were a good thing…keep doing that.”
“It would be good to create evening opportunities especially for out of town people without cars. It might be nice to have options to tour downtown etc.”
“I am reminded again of what a privilege it is to a serve in this family of churches. Hearing again who we are and what we offer to support churches and pastors and seeing the qualities represented in the presenters is a real blessing!”
“Having the leaders of the CBWC actually present for the sessions was beneficial. To me, this showed that the leadership, in general, finds the NPO to be important.”
Frequently heard comment:“I came because I had to and I’m so glad I came!”
“For me, it was a great but short time of connecting with the new pastors. Spoke to quite a few of them when I was there and it seems like I just sensed the connectedness with the group and even among themselves, they seemed to be already well connected together over the days they spent with each other. I just sensed that this group and the group from last year as well have a lot in common and they are the new generation of future church leaders and pastors that God has raised within the CBWC for a very specific purpose and ministry, For this, I am very thankful to them for their calling and their gift of service to God. Thanks!”
“Build in breaks that allow for exercise and a run to the Regent Bookstore. A campus tour. Walks to the beach which is only a 10 minute walk away!”
“I really appreciated the devotionals to start each morning – I found it helpful to receive teaching and to be able to process it at a slower place for myself. I also liked that we had lots of downtime to visit with one another. I think that opportunity to build some community spoke really well to me.”
“Although there was more information than I could digest as I was listening, I found it still very beneficial just to know that those resources are available and also to know where & how I can get them. Thank you very much for inviting me, covering all the expenses, and communicating to me what CWBC is about. I am quite impressed with and grateful for both your prudence and generosity evident in all your effort to serve the Body of Christ. Thank you.”