4. We share resources.
Every year we spend a session sharing our best sermon series. My toolbox of ideas expands. Glenn always brings a DVD packed with his best videos of the year. We invest an evening laughing through them and then get links to the ones we want to use in our own services.
Rob brings articles on relevant topics. John emails links to videos. This year, I shared our new “New Song app,” that enables our people to register, give, and submit prayer requests electronically. Over the years, every one of us has brought books and brochures that have helped take each of our churches to higher levels. (If you’re interested, you can point your mobile device to www.newsong-app.com and download, imitate, or admire our app there.)
5. We learn about books.
We use the first dinner of the week to catch up on our families. During the second dinner, we talk about books and movies. I’m not much of a movie-goer, so I’ve learned to let the others “screen” movies for me. The ones they rave about are the ones I’ll rent this year. But I love books, and these guys are readers. They read things I wouldn’t normally expose myself to. Every year, I come home with a list of “must reads,” that’s longer than I can tackle. Nicodem loves history. So do I. I turned him on to Spurgeon’s biography last year. This year he told me about a library of Spurgeon’s sermons he’s been going through with his staff. For pastors, this is true “iron sharpening iron.”
6. We help each other.
John introduced me to his publisher. Glenn has helped promote the movie we produced a few years ago. My book, The God Questions, has sold a quarter million copies, so they all want to know how to do that. The Bible Questions has been picked up by a publisher in India. They want to know how to do that as well. These results have more to do with God’s grace than my ability, but I’ve done what I can to help on the book-writing front.
7. We pray for each other.
We spend our first few hours together catching up on our wives and children. I’ve never met most of them, but feel like I know them well. For me, catching up on their growth and victories year after year is one of the richest experiences of the roundtable.
I’ll attend a conference or two this year. I’ll come home exhilarated and exhausted from the adrenaline my system will generate there. In contrast, I come home from the Roundtable relaxed and refreshed.
In my humble opinion, every pastor needs a group to huddle with on an annual basis. It doesn’t take much: a few friends, (hopefully in churches of similar size), a few days, a cabin somewhere, and an agenda that includes whatever you need help with.
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