Last week I had the opportunity to sit in what essentially amounts to a living room with 47 other leaders and Rob Bell. And for two full days (9 am to 9 pm) we talked about leadership, creativity, spiral dynamics, how to handle criticism, exegesis, raising kids, the eucharist, and surfing (along with various other topics). It was all over the place, but completely awesome.
I really appreciated the way Rob ended our time: he served us all communion. He talked about how the word eucharist can mean “good gift.” That Jesus’ body, broken and poured out, is God’s good gift to us. As leaders we almost always are serving other people (sometimes literally serving others the eucharist), and that we need to be put back together and poured back into. And that is what those two days were all about.
I needed that.
There are a million other things to say about this time (I have over 20 pages of notes), but I’ll leave you with these three:
- I appreciate Rob because he doesn’t hold back. It’s immensely clear that he throws himself completely into whatever it is that grabs him…whether that’s searching for the perfect taco or preparing for a talk, he goes all out.
- I appreciate Rob because he knows the ups and downs of pastoral leadership. He has many metaphors to describe it too (i.e. pastors are not “ecclesiastical punching bags”)! He gets it and he wants to pastor pastors through the ups and downs as much as possible.
- I appreciate Rob because he walks the line between humility and confidence with a great deal of grace. He’s a totally normal dude. He makes his kids breakfast everyday and drives them to school. He remembered someone at the conference because of a conversation they had after a tour stop in 2008. He also was named one of TIME’s 100 most important people in 2011. He’s very down-to-earth, but he knows he has a voice and he is confident in what he has to say.
I am extremely grateful I had the opportunity to be a part of this experience…it was life giving and timely. Good for my soul!