Saturday, June 5, 2010

Annual Conference Reflections

I usually really enjoy annual conference. I love the chance to come together with other leaders from our conference. I love the chance to reconnect with friends I haven't seen in a long time. I love to find out what is going on in my church. I love the chance to learn and grow and become a better minister.

What I don't love is the politics and the drama that goes into these things. I know it is human nature. Whenever you get a group of people together, there's going to be drama. When you get a group of people together surrounding something like faith and religion and morality and salvation, there's going to be all kinds of trouble you can't even imagine.

I was able to retreat from the world of conference for about four years while I was in school. There were lots of changes that happened in those years so when I came back into all of this last year, it really threw me for a loop. This year I felt like I was a lot more prepared, but was also a lot less excited.

While I was in school, I got really spoiled. We did lots of conferencing in school. We did lots of talking and listening, learning and debating, friendship-building and connection-making. But we did it all respectfully. We didn't feel like it was our sworn duty to convert the world to our way of thinking, so we didn't try. We respected personal, professional, and spiritual differences and were able to grow as individuals.

I was lucky because conference was, for the most part, a positive experience for me. I got to see lots of people I hadn't seen in a long time and it was really nice to get to catch up. The business sessions were a little exhausting, but were generally good. I was pretty pleased with the way everything went. I really loved the learning sessions with Adam Hamilton.

Most of all, I have a lot of great ideas. They are probably going to be hard and I don't know that I will still be this excited in 9 months, but I'm looking forward to another year of ministry!

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