WOW! what a great three days. as our current conference guru at TNC (Mike Fielder) will tell you CONFERENCES will pump you up. this year for me wasn't so much the "speakers" it was more the atmosphere and opening up the gates of ideas for ministry. for me the best thing about the weekend for my soul was to laugh! youth specialties does a great job of bringing in CLEAN and FUNNY comedians and acts. i have not laughed so hard in years! to me laughter is a what keeps your heart young. i love to laugh, and every once in a while make others laugh, esp. Chuck! besty made me laugh so hard at the weirdest restaurant ever, that I spit my drink out across the table onto Betsy. the music was amazing as well - Starfield rocks! They did a great job both with ENERGY and WORSHIP. WOW.
Ok simple break down of speakers, bands, breakouts...limited to a few words. no one is interested in seeing my whole NOTEBOOK of notes:
Kenda Creasy Dean (professor at Princeton)
excellent communicator, main point: listen to the students- guide the students. got a lot out of her message.
Tony Campolo (author, professor in Philly)
don't agree with Tony on lots of stuff, amazing heart, ok talk.
Phillip Yancy (author)
alright talk, didn't get much from ol' Phillip. great writer.
Chris Hill (from the Potter's House - TD JAKES CHURCH)
WOW...what energy. He is a black preacher and brought the word with amazing passion. Student Pastor with with thousands of students in urban context. great message of not being the light, but point others towards THE LIGHT (Christ).
Phil Vischer (creator of Veggie Tales -voices of most)
talked about rise and fall of Big Ideas (went bankrupt three years ago.) both bets and i did not agree with his message: wait on God until you have no dreams or ambitions. then God will tell you. as a fan of erwin mcmanus - and God - they both say GO! i believe God gave us dreams, passions, and ambition. yes we need to place those on the altar and never place them before God. sure God my allow your dream or passion to fail - but it may mean He wants you to move on to something else...not that your dream or passion was bad. Use our gifts to reach the world! Don't wait for an email, txt message or letter - our Father is the great designer. he builds us with a dna to go and change the world!
(sorry got a little caught up in that one.)
Ray Vander Lann (high school teacher, college/seminary professor, jewish scholar)
amazing lesson on being a disciple. thoughs who don't like to learn, might not agree. he is a teacher. this got me VERY VERY pumped about heading on a trip with him as the "Rabbi."
Stay tuned for breakouts and music (this entry had been WAY LONG!)