September 27-29th 2018, Philadelphia
The Praxis Gathering is a Conference for Missional Planters and Practitioners. Last year was our third annual Praxis Gathering in Phildelphia, PA. We enjoyed the rich diversity of our presenters speaking into the practice of Loving Our Neighborhoods. It was a thick environment teeming with brilliant ideas, raw stories, hard fought wisdom and tangible practices to take back to the local places we love. We anticipate this year to be no different but with urgent emphasis on a current national crisis in the church.
It has become daily news to see Church leaders abuse their power or observe their character crumble. In the last few decades we’ve baptized business practices and hierarchical structures—it has ravaged the soul of the Church. The leadership crisis we are in is pandemic. We cannot start and sustain missional, incarnational churches using the paradigms of leadership we’ve been taught to imitate. We need another way forward. At Praxis 2018 we’ll explore how we can move beyond these power-heavy leadership approaches to illuminate soul-healthy men and woman leading together.
In our fourth annual time together, we will plummet deep into the hands-on-work of Re-Imagining Leadership with unique emphasis on mutual leadership, emotional healthy leadership, five-fold intelligence, multicultural leadership, and leadership in the neighborhood. We’ve gathered some of the best on-the-ground church planters and practitioners to furnish us with the possibilities for lighting a hopeful path ahead in our churches, in our neighborhoods, and in our world.
What’s the Program?
We are purposely pressing against Church Celebrity culture. We want to subvert the main stage idolization that is occurring in the church. For this reason we did not choose to bring in the shiniest communicators we could find, but instead chose those who model soul-healthy, grounded, generative leadership. We also construct the program so that we spend more time in workshop (social) spaces through the gathering than in main stage (public) spaces. We desire for you to get close to the blue-collar work of rethinking and restructuring how we lead. We’re overjoyed to welcome AJ Swoboda to speak on soul-healthy leadership and subversive Sabbath, Mandy Smith on vulnerable leadership, Deb Hirsch on woman and men leading together, Dennis Edwards on the possibilities of multi-ethnic leadership, and Keisha Polonio unpacking shared-leadership through the 5-Fold ministry. We have over 25 workshops for you to choose from that focus on Re-Imagining Leadership from various angles. Check out praxisgathering.com for more details.
Last year we introduced Neighborhood Immersions. They were such a meaningful hands-on experience that we are bringing them back this year. On Friday, 2p – 6p, we’re offering 3 different Immersion Trips into real-time neighborhoods in Philly, led by authentic practitioners. You will get the privilege of touring a leader’s locality and see key areas, streets, landmarks, events, buildings and borders that have shaped their presence over the years. Along the way you’ll hear their story of how ‘Place’ has humbled them and shaped them; what they’ve discovered, what traction they’ve experienced, what hurdles they’ve faced and what hope they have for the future. At the end of the Immersion you’ll enjoy dinner together in their neighborhood.
There is a growing groundswell of pastors and planters seeking to rediscover the early movemental qualities of the church. Praxis is place that brings us together, offers us a space of community, and inspires us as we share our stories. The church in the West is twisting and turning under the weight of Post-Christianity and the future vibrancy of the church will be shaped not by trendier methods rather we need rooted wisdom. We see ourselves as friends and co-laborers with those around the country who are helping recover the Kingdom impulse that first propelled the church into the ancient world 2000 years ago. However, we still have a ways to go and we want to go together.
We hope you can join us. Check out thepraxisgathering.com and get early bird registration now (early bird discount ends July 31, 2018).
Peace to you,
JR Woodward & Dan White Jr.