My denomination has an annual conference. I spent the last few days conferencing with others from my area of our connection…We gathered to worship, to pray, and to do the business related to our organization.
Not so much.
More like… Whomp… Whomp…
Please do not misunderstand. These gatherings are important. They are necessary for moving the “organization” of churches forward. They are, also, vital to the spiritual health of the churches and those called to positions of leadership within these churches. These gatherings present us with the opportunity for communal worship – an expression of our unity in Jesus Christ. These gatherings allow for the support and encouragement of others through these acts of praise, but also though intentional times of prayer. The business sessions allow for us to consider relevant issues, and to speak and act the love of God into our contemporary world.
So, yes, these gatherings are important and necessary, but I was just not feelin’ it this year. My wife and I are Beyond Blessed. Our Double Blessing (plus one) has gifted us with 10x the responsibility once entrusted to us.
Responsibility requires effort. Effort requires energy. And, the over-exertion of energy leads to exhaustion!
Whatever, Ross! Just claim it…you are tired!
Okay, so I am a little tired…and, I did not know where I would find the extra energy to “conference.” Sometimes I am little too tired to worship, to pray, and to think and acts the love of God into the world! And, I was a little worried about where I would find the energy I needed to move forward with the work to which we are called…
But, I did find the energy to reengage my excitement and my passion (and not just in the superb sleep I got at night). I reconnected with my peers, who share my experience. I reconnected with my friends, who share my conviction. I reconnected with special people who have always been a source of support and encouragement. For that, I am thankful!
One of those was a former schoolmate. She and I actually worked for a period of time at the same church after seminary. I strongly encourage you to check out her work. You can follow her blog, Better Together, or subscribe to her podcast, Ashley Ridge Church. She is an incredible interpreter of Scripture, an engaging writer, and an extremely powerful communicator of the Gospel.
She and I, along with another friend, were able to share conversation, to celebrate our ministry, to boast about our kids, and to encourage one another for the next year of ministry that lies ahead!
In fact, the majority of the words I shared with other peers, friends, and people over the four days were synonymous. I felt supported, encouraged, and built up for another year of participating in the continued ministry of Jesus Christ.
I was particularly enthused, because I just launched a series of messages, Words of Grace, addressing the power of our words to influence. Gathering with my friends for a time of “conferencing,” I felt the influence of their words. By reconnecting with these friends, and being built up by their words of grace, I became energized…and ready to move into the uncertainty of tomorrow!
Friends, I appreciate you, too. I appreciate this WordPress community. I appreciate the support and encouragement already given to me in the first three months since SkippingStones went live. You and your words have had a powerful influence on me. You have supported, encouraged, and built me up. Thanks for connecting with me! I look forward to ReConnect with you in your next post!
As a side note, I would like to challenge you to reconnect with an old friend. Send a note or give a call to an old friend who was a source of encouragement and support for you. Tell them how they built you up…and, in this way, speak words of grace into their heart.