From March 7 - 9, 2017, 75+ church planting network leaders gathered from around the world in New York for Network Leaders Forum (NLF). The purpose of this event was to help leaders of church planting networks be equipped to lead their network through providing helpful resources, best practices and opportunities for collaboration. CTC hosts this event every 2 years and it has taken a different form each time as the CTC network continues to expand. We praise God for new relationships that were built, collaboration that was prompted across regions, and the many Godly leaders that are stepping up to lead in the CTC family.
Reflections from the event By Andras Lovas, Budapest
Nearly three weeks after my return from New York this is the first time I have sat down to consciously reflect on how NLF has impacted me. I found that our time together has given me four real and enduring gifts.
My vision of what God wants to do in Budapest has been strengthened and enlarged. I was encouraged to dream big for his glory. Since the Biblical story ends in victory we are free to risk failure. This encouragement has started to take shape - I see names of people to meet and steps to take outlined in my notes.
Focusing on God’s goals
As new ideas were forming I started seeing my ministry with new eyes. I realized that my calendar leaves me no time for networking in the city; to meet new people and share the vision of our network. It is easy to concentrate on more structured and goal oriented forms of ministry such as training, developing teams and materials and mentoring church planters. But God needs me more available for his goals.
Forming significant relationships
At NLF you run into people you do not know well all the time, which I sometimes find a bit frustrating. You listen to the story of a new person, something God is doing somewhere, and share your own story. Again and again. The sheer numbers mean you can only develop more significant connections with a few. But these occasional deeper relationships are God's gifts. They provide humor and joy as well as opportunities to pray for each other’s life's depths and learn from each other.
Experiencing God's universal church
At one of our prayers the leader asked us to recite the Lord's Prayer aloud in our own language. As one prayer followed after another we reflected on the One who created all the peoples of the earth. It provided a foretaste of the day when all God's redeemed people from all nations and languages will glorify him in the new world. What else is church planting about than the hope of this new world in our Lord Jesus Christ?