I’m still jazzed up a little for the experiences of Innovate 08. It was really (really) good.
But I’ve realized I need to guard against something.
From my many years as a student minister I have taken kids on lots of different trips. Weekend trips, mission trips, beach camps, fall retreats, ski trips, etc., etc. And in doing so, I usually see kids end the week with a “camp high”. You know, where by the end of the event Jesus is their best friend for life! And how they’re going to go back home and be working to change their town, their school, their church, their WORLD! They are fired up! They sing the lyrics to praise songs all the time, and they’re just waiting to hear someone say, “I love Jesus! Yes I do! I love Jesus! How ’bout you?!?” so they can scream back their own affirmation of love for their new best friend and Savior.
But in most cases, it takes roughly two weeks before that students are “back to normal“. Back to how things were before they left for camp. The passion dries up. The enthusiasm wanes. And their purpose in life shifts back to being popular or making good grades or not getting in trouble.
And I can see how the same can be said for adults. I mean, people left Innovate 08 with a drive and a passion for God’s Kingdom. Just like they’ll leave Catalyst next month and any and all other church leadership events you can think of. And they’ll be chock full of ideas and purpose and passion and motivation. I’m right there with them. But I don’t’ want to see any of us come back to “normal” like it was before the event.
I want to soak in what God taught me at Innovate. And to let Him show me what it all means for me and my calling specifically. Not to copy a program or idea or manner of any other church/ministry. But to see what God is calling US to do specifically. And to apply it humbly and faithfully.
Well after finally getting into the room and cranking the AC up, I caught up on some email, took a shower to wash the air travel off of me, and took a nap. I had a headache. My alarm went off and I got up read to go to the Journey Bible Class at Granger. The headache was still there. And all I’d had to eat for the day was a muffin at 4:30am and cheese & crackers with Reese’s Pbutter cups at the airport. But I found some popcorn in the lobby as I left.
Without any wheels yet, I walked to the church. It is only a half mile. I kept looking for a BIG church building I’d see from a distance. But I didn’t. Which was cool. But the parking lot was filling and people were all filing in towards the front door. As I got there, immediately on my right was Connection Cafe, a little coffee bar and then some seating on the right as well. A nice lady w/ a nametag was saying to everyone at once, “I know it doesn’t look normal, but adults are taking the kids to their rooms!” I don’t think I looked lost, but anyway.
There were lots of people w/o being crowded.
I went to Bob Laurent‘s class he was teaching. It was on The Radical Jesus [I’ll post the notes in the next entry]. At first I didn’t clue into who Bob Laurent is. But he spoke at a youth weekend I was a part of back in 1990. I liked him a lot back then, and 18 years later I still liked his teaching. He’s pretty passionate. And there were LOTS of people there. Bob said 900. And I think with a big shift in what Granger’s mid week events used to be, that’s a pretty significant number.
But first impressions of Granger Community Church was A+. Now I can’t wait for Innovate tomorrow. I’m back in the hotel after stopping by Target for some toiletries and by Moe’s for some supper! Now I’m full and typing while watching John and Kate plus 8.
Last year a friend went to a conference in Granger, Indiana. Yeah, Granger. Never heard of it?
Anyhow, It was called Innovate and was at Granger Community Church. I’d kept up with the church for a little while because I read the blogs of some of the staffmembers. It’s a great church. Very creative. Very missional. And making a big impact on their communities.
Last night I came across it again. Innovate08. I knew it was coming soon. But it had slipped my mind. And if I was to go to a conference I’d like for it to have something specifically related to my area of ministry. But when looking at Tim’s blog he mentioned how it’s possible to grab lunch w/ key staff members to pique their minds about things, and when I saw that there was a BreakOut session specifically about Small Groups…I began to really think about it.
Turns out that there’s already a group of people I know from The Orchard in Tupelo heading up there! How crazy is that? So, I’m looking through details, but I’m really hoping to make it!