We led the Transitions Conference at North Side today. I think we are all extremely tired but extremely blessed. Jamie said to me at about 7:00 this morning that he thought we were going to experience what you normally experience on a mission trip. You go in order to bless, but you end up being more blessed yourself.
And we were. We wanted to help pastors and church leaders with some of the lessons we learned, and we were overwhelmed at just the opportunity to just walk beside such great men and women of God for a day. It went fantastic! And least we thought so just cause we got to spend a few hours with men and women who love the local church and want to see God’s Kingdom advanced through it.
Jeff was really in his element today. I am so blessed to work under someone who I look up to and want to follow. I know plenty of guys who work on a staff where they have to “go along” with the pastor’s vision, but I respect Jeff so much as a man of God that I look forward to following his lead. His heart, passion, and wisdom were amazing today. I know everyone benefited from what he had to say. Even if he was exhausted by the end of the day.
He started the first session with our intentions of the conference and shared his story about how he was going to have to transition or see a church transition. We talked about how churches can be defining their “win” in unhealthy ways. He said that our win is a transformed life for North Side.
We got to hand out the goody bags for everyone there. We also got to share Buddy’s testimony of how we began to think about what new disciples in our church needed. We want to see people intimate with God, interacting with the Body, and impacting the world. We broke up into a small group and just had a time to share which was heart-felt and amazing. In my group, I could just tell that many of these church leaders just wanted someone to listen to their heart and their struggles with trying to lead a church to transition even when they were opposed.
After lunch, we started talking about what their churches expected from them. Very interesting stuff.
But then we talked about what we needed from God and what he has promised to be for us.
Church leaders often need to be reminded of the fact that truly God is with us.
We went over the three environments (worship, community, and missions), and Ken shared how administration works in all this. Jamie, Steve, and Ken did a fantastic job presenting what they do. John’s humility and transparency brought such a authenticity to what we are doing – that man is my hero! While those guys were up in front, there were so many other people behind the scenes getting it ready without whom it would have been impossible. Jennifer, Wes, Cory, Adam, Fred, Polly, Norma Jean, Cynthia, Heather, Bron, Janet, Rick, Dennis, Robert, Hannah, Rick, Iris – you guys are the best church staff in the world and it is a joy to work with you. Cindy, Mrs. Geoly, and all our other volunteers – it meant so much that you would spend your day this way.
We honestly want to see churches change. We want to see lives changed. And tonight, I’m just thankful to Jesus for transitioning my life.