I have been reading (and commenting) over at Allelon on a post by Andrew M about conferences. Specifically triggered by last weekends Forge festival. I though t I would post some of my thoughts here too.
I said that “I have to confess something…I came away [from the festival/conference] feeling a bit like Andrew M. I know all the cliches about getting out what you put in etc. I was feeling a bit off on the Friday before it all started, but went Friday night and loved it, Mike frost was great [a message worth getting a hold of] , catching up with some old friends was a blast!
I loved the conference being in the heart of Melbourne.
The venue was brilliant.
The electives all looked great (although not explained in much detail on the handbook. In fact this is a personal issue but I hate so many choices, I end up not choosing and going out for coffee somewhere.)
I felt the conference, (any conference for that matter) missed the point of what an organic movement is all about – organic, grass roots(y). As soon as a movement such as Forge begin to gather in a “Forgesong” style gathering (ok cynic is me) I feel we lose something of our unique underground subversive identity. I have nothing to back this up other than a feeling I had the first night I walked into conference #1 in 2006 and saw T-shirts and stick pins for sale.
So why have I continued to return after 3 years?
Same as what Hamo said – I love gathering with people of like mind and hearing stories, coffee shop stories more than up front preachy stories. Over 3 years of attending – this has been almost addictive for me, the stories. The word ‘Tribe’ is used a fair bit about these gatherings. I like that, only that it does not feel like a tribe when we assemble in the big auditorium. It feels like a church meeting, or just like a conference of the type that I used to attend almost religiously up to 8 or 9 times a year in my old mega church life.”