MLCs Offer Encouragement, Fellowship, and Learning
The Ministry Leadership Conference in Argentina was an incredibly encouraging experience! MLCs in Latin America are more intimate than their European counterparts, allowing everyone to fellowship with everyone throughout the week.
As pastors and other leaders gathered from churches in Argentina, Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Bolivia, and Guatemala, we were encouraged by the teaching of Chuck and Ingrid Davis.
We first met Ingrid at an MLC in Athens five years ago, and a couple of the pastors in Latin America were so impacted by her, that they told me they would like her to come speak in Latin America as well. So we invited her and her husband Chuck. They have served as missionaries in Mali, and Chuck spent years pastoring in the U.S. while Ingrid had a speaking ministry blossom that also led her to working closely with Arrow Leadership. A few years ago, they felt led to go into ministry together.
Those attending this MLC were impacted by the way they worked together as a team. Their example of a healthy and united marriage was inspiring to the point that we dubbed them “Chingrid”. Ingrid spoke to heart issues, as she has a lot of experience ministering to missionaries who are struggling with emotional and other issues. Chuck is a skilled leader who has a light-hearted presentation style that packs a theological punch.
In addition to the support and loving challenge we received from “Chingrid,” we also enjoyed two tours. One took us up the Tigre River where we saw everything from mansions to shipwrecks that were stranded in the shallows. The other tour took us around downtown Buenos Aires with an audio guide filling us in on the rich history of Argentina and seeing sites like the church where Pope Francis used to serve.
One of the other inspiring elements of this retreat was not only the hospitality and expert hosting and planning of Werner and Adél Swart but also seeing their young adult children participating in the family ministry, doing everything from leading music to running tech to organizing tickets for tours and more. They are an inspiring family making an impact in Argentina, and we are thankful they had the time to also host this incredible MLC!
We always expected a few cancellations for the Ministry Leadership Conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia, due to Covid infections. And while there were a few of those, we also had an unexpected cancellation due to a passport issue. And it was the main speaker – Gene Wilkes!
What we had hoped would be our first in-person MLC in two years turned into a bit of a hybrid meeting as Gene quickly videoed all of his messages and devotions and sent them for us.
Gene’s messages on “A New Way of Living: Practicing the Beatitudes Everyday” helped those attending to look at the beatitudes in a new way by looking at the people, the characteristic, the promise, the illness, and the exercise. He challenged us to take up the habits of exercise needed to become more godly men and women. Each participant received a copy of Gene’s book to help them delve deeper into the topic.
Seminars during the weekend-long conference included Building a Leadership Development Pipeline; Multiplication, Migration and Matthew 28; Equipping Church Members for Monday; International Church Worship Experience; How to Live the Life You Love to the Glory of God; Children’s Ministry in the International Church; and Intercultural Intelligence. For the first time, we had a Young Leaders’ Forum where young leaders had the opportunity to interact with several seminar leaders on topics relevant to them.
Besides enjoying the seaside location of the conference, participants also had a chance to tour nearby Ston with its old town and saltworks, followed by a typical Croatian dinner complete with local entertainment.