Connect 09 – Day 1
Lesley and I are in Orlando, Fl at the Coronado Springs Resort for a church-planter’s conference with our association called Connect 09. Church planting is a completely different animal than leading a pre-existing church and requires a different set of skills and contains a different set of challenges. This conference is designed to address those differences with the church-planting families who have taken it on.
Day one of Connect 09 is now in the bag. Last night Dr Jerry Shevland, president of our association, addressed all of the church planters and brought a powerful message from Hebrews chapter 12. In his message, he related the recent loss of his wife to cancer and how ?messed? up he has been in trying to work through the grief. He talked about the ?messiness? of ministry and how if we?re ever truly going to preach the gospel, it will require dealing with a lot of messes. But the beauty of the scripture he shared was that in those messes, Jesus Christ will come along beside us and be ?ENOUGH?. Jesus may not make everything ?right? the way that we would like to see it, but he will be enough for us to work through our trials and testing. And make no mistake about it? as you read Hebrews 12, THERE WILL BE HARDSHIP! But what a wonderful comfort to know that Jesus will be enough in those moments.
Later in the evening, our conference center was buzzing with the news that all of the American Idol contestants were arriving, along with hosts and judges for a party celebrating the opening of a Disney attraction built around American Idol. The amount of security was really surprising, and although they were in a ?private party? in the Rix Lounge, the security people kept trying to move everyone further and further back from the common areas in the hotel. Very weird and a bit irritating.
As I let my thoughts on the evening sort themselves out, I was amazed at how quickly we, I can shift gears from being deeply challenged by the grace and the power of the Word of God into being totally focused on entertainment. 15 minutes before the arrival of all the AI 09 folks, I was being blessed and confronted with the truth of the Word. And in a skinny minute, it was all gone from focus and I was excited about the possibility of seeing all the AI people.
I will continue to thoroughly enjoy AI, but maybe I need to recheck my values a bit.