Reflections on Converge 2022

By Tim Bentum  |  April 11th

Last month, 20+ Edvance affiliate educators and leaders travelled to San Diego to attend Converge 2022. This conference is a convergence of many different individuals, organizations, and higher education entities who want to see Christian education flourish across North America and around the world. The location alone was a draw for Canadian Christian school leaders looking for a burst of warmth and encouragement coming out of the cold winter months, but beyond the weather, there are two things that made the Converge conference stick out to me.

The first is the relationships and networking that is possible at a large conference attended by well over 800 people from across the world. Following years worth of lockdowns, periods of isolation, masking and quarantine, being together with so many people was a bit disorienting in a really good way. I heard many people reflect that there is nothing like face-to-face contact with other school leaders to fill the soul and put fuel in an empty tank. Beyond the simple fact that many of us experienced human contact on a scale that we hadn’t seen in more than two years, I also noted the sheer diversity of different voices and perspectives that were on display at the conference. Christian education is alive and well in many forms around the world, and the learning that we did together was rich and unifying, even in our divisive landscape.

The second thing that stood out to me was the quality, diversity, and depth of content presented at the conference. We learned from spoken-word poets, eminently articulate university professors, world-class researchers, high-profile evangelical speakers, teacher/leader-practitioners, and many others from both North America and around the world. A central thrust from many of the presentations was about how to move forward in our new (dare I say, post-COVID) world. Christian school leaders are facing unprecedented disruption and ambiguity like never before. Forging a path forward in a unifying, forward-looking, Christ-centred manner has never been more important. It will take equal doses of courage, humility, boldness, and gentleness.

The Converge conference opened our minds and encouraged our hearts. It was an impactful and worthwhile experience on many levels.

Tim Bentum is the Bluewater Region Cohort Leader, Principal at London Christian High School, and the incoming Director of Leadership for Edvance.