Looking back at my experiences at the National CEF Conference, I am struck by the tension between the old and the new. The organization itself is living out that tension – changing the name from Christian Educators Fellowship to Christians Engaging in Faith Formation and moving the structure from Chapters to Communities of Practice.
The workshops and conference activities also reflected the tension between the old and the new. Melanie Gordon and Michael Gordon explored ways to welcome children back into corporate worship. Rosemary Brown included the age old practice of storytelling in her Bible studies. While other workshops explored designing ministries with internet startup techniques and using modern marketing techniques to promote ministries.
On the last day news of the next conference was announced. We will be returning to Nashville with a new format to be announced later.
Clearly, some are struggling with change, while others are ready to jump into new ways without looking back. What is needed is a balance – keeping old practices that are still effective while being open to new ideas which can add new life to ministries.