Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Conference day 1

My regional conference "convention" started yesterday. We are in Decatur, Illinois, and it was me and 3 other people from church in one car, and another family came in another vehicle. We are staying at the Ramada Limited this year (exit 141B). It's not too bad (especially for $63).

I was not really looking forward to conference this year because Jane's not here (she has to work), and also because it's just another place to feel alienated. But after being here a little bit I realized that is not true. I have many friends here, and I like being at these things. I don't care what anybody else says.

Anyway, we didn't come for the early stuff. We arrived for the regular start (at 1:30). The music is always good here at New Beginnings. Their worship guy is just plain good. Nothing fancy, but really good. John Devries talked first. He wrote a book "Why Pray" or something. I haven't read it, but our region has really pushed it the last couple years. He was good.

Our group skipped the first round of breakout sessions. We came back for supper, and then the first talk from Reggie McNeal. I have read some of his books and articles and whatnot, and seen some of his podcasts. He is EVEN BETTER in person. He was fantastic. I really connect with his sarcastic wit. He had me in tears many times, and there were a couple of points where I almost jumped out of my seat and hollered out in agreement.

Some of my notes from Reggie's first talk:
  • "If the early church is as perfect as we make it out to be the NT would be a lot shorter."
  • Shift #1 (of 3): We need to turn inside out. We need to move from seeing church as a "what" to seeing church as a "who."
  • The church is the people of God positioning themselves with him in his redemptive mission in the world.
  • The church in N. America took in $100 billion last year. What did we do with it?
  • The "non-affiliated" (or un-affiliated) are the fastest growing religious group in N.A. 1 in 6 people.
  • "The church does not HAVE a mission. The mission has a church."
  • Church is the "called out" in order to be "sent back in."
  • www.kidshope.org
Man, this was a great talk. I had heard a lot of it before, but it was just plain good. I love Reggie.

AFTERWARD...
After the session ended we came back to the hotel. A guy I don't really know had emailed me earlier and asked me to bring my guitar. We didn't have room, but I talked to him, and he told me to come over to his room anyway. He was inviting some other people. He was staying at another hotel, so I walked over there. When I got there it was just he and his wife. He showed me some thing from www.worshipteam.com. It looked pretty neat. Finally another guy came. The guys wife was laying on the bed the whole time with a sweatshirt and blanket on, and I was dying of heat. Man it was hot in there. But anyway, the other guy brought his guitar, so those two guys played and played. It was nice. I felt like a shmuck, because I don't know anything. They would just start playing a song, and the other would join in. How do they remember all the words and stuff? I just can't do that. But it was nice being around some musicians. They monkeyed with some half capo stuff and we talked music. Then the wife started asking the one guy (who is Korean) about politics happening in Korea right now. I took that as a good time to leave. I stopped in the lobby of that hotel and chatted with some people. Then I came back to my hotel. I loved Darl's guitar. It was a Huff & Dalton. I had never heard of it. Man did it play nice, and sound nice. I need a new guitar. Steffen had a Taylor, which sounded really nice too.

Day 1 was good. I hope today is as well.

Peace out; and in.