At the Brighton Leadership Conference in 2008 (TOAM08) Mark Driscoll spoke to us, taking three main sessions and challenging us along the way - until he got to his final point, where he encouraged Terry Virgo that he needed to walk his bride (New Frontiers!) down the isle and give her away to another man. The point was that Terry is getting to the age when it's time to hand things over, and this is the way Mark was talking and encouraging things to happen.
Of course, Mark may have had a different understanding of team than the rest of us.
Now that we've finished with the TOAM conferences, this last summer's being the last one in it's current format, we can see more clearly how things have worked out.
Explaining why we ended the conference to an American friend recently, I was also trying to explain how things were now to work out. Refering back to what Mark Driscoll said a few years before, I said the model was something quite different!
He'd suggested an Elijah/Elisha kind of hand-over that we find in the Old Testament under the old covenant. But what has actually happened, and carrying with it far more life and potential than Mark had suggested, is more a Jesus & his 12 disciples kind of hand over. Jesus was working for multiplication, taking what he had and knew and equiping his followers to go and do the same - but now there were more of them, much more!
New Frontiers now works in terms of spheres, which are spread out all across the world with men heading up their own areas, areas in which they have been working into already for many, many years, but men joined in relationship, trust and friendship, which is what has held us all together this far.
Had we gone with the hand over from one anointed man to another, I think we would have seen the end to things in the near future. These kind of handovers never really work that well. What we have instead is a multiplication and widening of the work. We've not just gone from one to twelve - but many more than that.
And this is just the beginning....