Friday, January 7, 2011

The Gathering

I'm in the Jacksonville airport this morning waiting to fly home after The Gathering, a conference for Wesleyan pastors and spouses. Jamie and I were debriefing last night after our last session and we asked, "What was the best part for you?" Normal question. At the time, I wasn't sure.

We laughed a lot, had great meals, caught up with people we know from Wisconsin and Indiana, met new friends, spent time with her parents, worshiped with Paul Baloche, and sat under the teaching of people like Gary McIntosh, Michael Smalley, Wayne Schmidt, Keith Loy, Brenda Sadler McNeal, and Mark Batterson. 

Last night, Mark Batterson said, "There are ways of doing church that no one has thought of before." He spoke about how as children, we use more of our right brain imagination, and as we grow older, we use more of our left brain logic and memory. Result: We start operating out of re-doing the past instead of imagining new ways of doing church for the future. He says it is crucial that we take the time to imagine a future where we accomplish the same goals (seeing lost people saved and the kingdom come) in new ways. 

I'm challenged by that. And I'm also encouraged. I believe we are using our imagination well at NBWC as we think orange. We're accomplishing the same goals (seeing children and teens saved, seeing families thrive under Jesus' lordship, seeing the community transformed as we partner with parents) in new ways. 

God's best is yet to come! 

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