At the beginning of the year as part of the series on Spiritual Disciplines, I said I would discipline myself to writing a blog each week. Well that didn’t happen last week and let me explain why: On Wednesday I was able to attend the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship annual Worship Symposium held in Grand Rapids Michigan at Calvin College.

            Let me explain more about the Worship Symposium. If I could attend this worship conference every year, I would. It is such a fantastic resource for pastors and worship leaders. Not to mention a fantastic way to rejuvenate, be refreshed and energized in multiple worship services. It is a conference in which I learn a lot every single time I attend.

            Now, let me explain why I went this year and who went along with. You might have noticed in some of the past concept minutes of council that we have been asked by Faith Formation Ministries to be a part of a “Cohort.” What is a cohort, and what is the purpose of this cohort? A cohort is a group of people who will meet together to study a specific area of the church. This year, Faith Formation Ministries is looking at two different sub-groups within a church: The emerging leaders, (ages 18-30) or the seasoned saints (ages 60+). Some cohorts are looking at both groups and some just at one or the other. The cohorts will be looking at how to utilize the gifts of the people within each demographic of the church.

            Our church will be focusing on the “emerging leaders” section of our congregation over the next year. As a part of this process we will meet monthly with a coach from Faith Formation ministries and we needed to send at least two people to the Worship Symposium as we would begin our meetings there. After a lot of thought and prayer, we agreed to be a part of what can be an important discussion.

            I met with a number of people within the age category of 18-25 in our church to see if they would like to be a part of this cohort group. We have a team of about 7-8 people who have committed to be a part of this for the next year. We will meet together and have already met together once. In some ways it is a new adventure. We do not exactly know what will come from this year of meeting together. I think the goal of this is to have a better understanding of ways in which to connect and re-connect with people within the 18-25 age group in our church and to keep them connected through the years.

            I am excited about what the next year will bring. We had a really good experience at the Symposium meeting with other cohorts from across the denomination. There are a couple close by, one in Lethbridge and one in Calgary. It was a great time to listen to others and their ideas, and also to see how these two age groups within the church have a lot in common, with slightly different approaches.      

            As I have said to each person I met with, “we might fail, and that’s okay”. That is also exciting, to try something to see how it goes, of course it is scary to think about failing. Yet, I sense God leading us to take some time to really look at how we can benefit as a congregation from the “emerging leaders” within our community. If you’re curious, our group is: Mackenzie Kiers, Samy Tams, Kami Tams, Dylan and Kristin Tams, Trudy Enns, Sam Wilcock and myself as the leader. Please, engage us in conversation over the next year, challenging us and asking how it is going.