Friday, January 05, 2007

pastors' gathering

The Wesleyan Gathering of Pastors in Orlando was a great 4 days. Speakers included Kevin Myers, Anne Graham Lotz, John Maxwell and Bill Hybels. The worship leader for the week was Robin Mark from Ireland (any musician with a foreign accent has the advantage of sounding cool and authoritative without even trying).

I heard from God in a few specific ways. My fire for reaching the world with the love of Christ was stoked yet again. I'm speaking this Sunday in Lakeland, Florida (the home of our Detroit Tigers' spring training camp). If all the stuff in my heart comes spilling out from the platform, I might teach for hours on end. I trust God's Spirit will help keep me within 30 minutes or so!

One of the highlights of a Pastor's Conference like this is the opportunity to connect with old friends. I saw college friends with whom I haven't crossed tracks in over 10 years. At every turn, there was another 5 minute conversation filled with updates on marriage, kids and church life.

In some ways it all feels quite shallow... But in another way it brings me great comfort to know that these are all genuine men of God who are giving their lives to the same cause of Christ as me. We share so many common values and priorities. I understand the things they're going through and they know the challenges I am facing. If I really needed help or counsel, they would be there for me in a heartbeat.

That is one of the greatest joys of being a member of the Body of Christ. I'm not on this journey alone. I'm thankful to be part of the Wesleyan network of churches. It isn't perfect, but neither am I.