NewThing just hosted its largest Gathering ever on December 6 & 7 at COMMUNITY’s Yellow Box Campus in Naperville, IL. Over 200 NewThing pastors and staff were present for the Thursday night and Friday morning festivities.
The Gathering kicked off with NewThing’s first-ever Film Festival. Community’s Creative Arts Director, Eric Bramlett, emceed this event and presented 2|42 Community Church in Brighton, Michigan with the “Best In Show” Award for their “Crazy” bumper video. The Film Festival was followed by a great time of catching up and hanging out at The Foundry where we welcomed Hugh Halter to the event.
The Gathering continued on Friday morning with a ministry breakfast for church staff people to connect and network with staff in similar roles. This was followed by a time of worship and vision casting with Dave Ferguson. Dave reminded us of the objectives we set at our last Gathering this past April in Orlando. Some of the highlights of Dave’s talk included five shifts we need to make:
- Movement to Movements
- Relational, Relational and Regional
- National to Global
- Resources to Accessible Resources
- Centralized Leadership to Decentralized Leadership
The morning wrapped up with an outstanding line-up of elective breakout sessions that led into another networking time with other churches and ministry staff over lunch.
The afternoon featured our Open Source Gathering where we welcomed an additional 200 pastors and leaders to hear our two guest speakers, Bill Hybels from Willow Creek Community Church and Hugh Halter from Missio. Bill was interviewed by Dave Ferguson during a Q&A format while Hugh wrapped up the Gathering sharing some of his latest thoughts on living incarnationally. Thanks to our Community Edgewater band for opening us in great worship.
Many people remarked that this was the best Gathering we’ve had yet! A special thanks goes to some of our behind-the-scenes crew: Pat Masek, Dave Dummitt, Amber Stefanski, Jeff Boriss, Eric Bramlett, Carrie Larson, Sherry Gossman, Carla Vaca and many, many others for hosting and planning this event. It is always great to be with the best church planters in the world. We are already looking forward to being together again this April in Orlando!