November 21, 2016

In what has become an annual event, about 100 Missouri Conference leaders came together at Missouri UMC in Columbia for the Next Generation Leadership Conference on November 3. 
   
Keynote speaker Craig Jutila, who was on staff at Saddleback Church in California for 13 years, began the day with a stern admonishment for leaders: Don’t be so hard on yourself. His talk was entitled Seven Choices to Change Your Leadership Life. His first choice was Choose to Be Content. He offered these barriers to being content:

“Are you doing more than you’re designed for? You don’t want to go beyond your potential. You want to reach your potential,” he said. “You can have good enough  and still be excellent.” 
    
He told how when he was involved with a youth ministry of thousands, he always wanted one more. Can doing more good be bad? He said that in his case, the answer was yes. One day he picked up his wife’s journal, opened it to a random page, and the first thing he read was, “I hate my husband.” 
    
“I was married with children but leading a singular life,” he said. “I had sacrificed my own soul care for trying harder and doing more.”
    
It took 17 months of counseling, but Jutila repaired his family life and now has a different perspective on success.
    
Patrick Hutto led worship at the Conference and also led a workshop session relating to college age ministry. Hutto is the director of the University of Southern Mississippi Wesley Foundation. 
    
Missouri Bishop Bob Farr addressed the group about finding and following their vision for their ministry. There were 19 different breakout sessions available, led by Missouri Conference staff and leaders from local churches.   
    
The event was organized by Rev. Kim Parker, Next Generation Ministries for the Missouri Conference. For more about the Conference, including downloadable notes and videos of the presentations, go to http://www.nextgenumc.org/next-gen-leadership-conference-2016.